Brazil strong favourites to take Group E by storm at Russia 2018

Whichever sides had drawn Brazil in the group stage of the World Cup in Russia this summer would basically have been playing for the runners-up spot. Such is the pedigree of the five-time world champions that, frankly, until the quarter-final stage, they are more or less nailed on to progress.

Of course, that will not stop the like of Switzerland, Serbia and Costa Rica giving it their best shot to get a big shock against one of the favourites to win the World Cup outright. Here we’ll bring you the tips, information and analysis to help you make informed choice about the bets you place on this group.

It could also pay to take a gander at the latest World Cup Betting Odds and Free Bets as the bookies are beginning to turn their attentions to the summer already.

Group E World Cup Betting Tips

Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

Costa Rica to beat Serbia – 16/5 with BetVictor
Neymar to be Brazil’s top scorer at the World Cup – Evens with BetVictor

Group E Preview, Analysis and Odds

It stands to reason that Brazil are the strong favourites to finish top of Group E, and we are not going to argue with the bookies on that one. Priced at odds of just 2/7 with most bookies to finish at the top of the Group E tree, the five-time winners offer decent enough value at that price given the lack of serious opposition here.

Though the Swiss are ranked just four places below Brazil at the time of writing (sixth to Brail’s second), those figures should be taken with a massive pinch of salt. Switzerland have been very effective at racking up rankings points in recent years by putting minnows to the sword and picking their friendly matches wisely. But we do not for one minute believe Vladimir Petkovic’s men are better than Spain or Chile, or even England for that matter.

With Costa Rica and Serbia battling it out to avoid the wooden spoon in all likelihood, we basically see Brazil having a clear run through to the round of 16. They might also post some sizeable victories in the group stage as they attempt to send a message out to their main opponents. As Neymar has confirmed recently he will be fit for the World Cup, we think the odds on the PSG man to be Brazil’s top scorer are too good to turn down at evens. He’s netted 53 goals in just 83 games for his national side, and basically if he plays he’s got a fair chance of scoring.

Oscar Ramirez’s Costa Rica are a side who have enough about them to test the other teams in this group. When they were drawn in the same group as Brazil back in Italia ’90, they lost just 1-0 to the favourites. They then beat Scotland and Sweden to progress to the knockout stages (there they lost to Czechoslovakia). While we think they will come up short of emulating that achievement this time, we certainly think they’ll have the beating of Serbia when the sides meet.

Other bets that could be worth considering include the following:

  • Switzerland to be knocked out at Round of 16 stage – 2/1 with Bet365 – It is highly likely that Brazil will win this group, and the Swiss have a fair chance of finishing second. In which case they would most likely meet Germany in the Round of 16. Nuff said.
  • Serbia to finish bottom of Group E – 21/10 with BetVictor – Serbia are the weakest team in the group and they lack the energy and imagination of a Costa Rica side who could surprise a few.
  • Brazil to make it to the World Cup final – 13/5 with Betfair – Tite’s side have a fantastic blend of skill and determination and with the spectre of 2014 in their minds, we fancy they’ll make it to the final in Russia, if not win the thing.

Key Fixtures in Group E

  • Costa Rica v Serbia – Sunday 17th June
  • Brazil v Switzerland – Sunday 17th June
  • Switzerland v Costa Riva – Wednesday 27th June

As mentioned, we fancy Costa Rica to get the win against Serbia, and they could also give the Swiss a decent game too. Brazil’s opener against Switzerland will be crucial for the South Americans who will be keen to get off to a positive start and to get the local crowds and their home press behind them.

Switzerland should be able to grind their way through to the runners-up spot, but their game against Costa Rica could be crucial and we are not 100% convinced they’ll be triumphant.

If you’re a glutton for punishment and want to back England, make sure you take a look at all of our WC England offers!