Most Read Football

Check out today's Paper Talk1

Thursday's Paper Talk

Juventus want Marcus Rashford while Eden Hazard set to sign a new Chelsea contract - get all the back-page gossip from today's newspapers.

Wayne Rooney celebrates for DC United2

Rooney stunner sinks Toronto

Wayne Rooney rolled back the years as his stunning 30-yard free-kick earned DC United a 1-0 home win over Toronto.

The latest Sporting Life Accumulator3

Sporting Life Accumulator

Following another win last weekend, we have a four-fold accumulator in the EFL enhanced to a huge 75/1 by title sponsors Sky Bet.

Jose Mourinho reacts on the bench4

Scholes: Messi would struggle

Paul Scholes claims even Lionel Messi would struggle in the current Manchester United team and says the club are being laughed at by their rivals.

Three-horse Premier League title race: Between Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea5

Premier League top-six assessment

We take a look at the race for the Premier League title, competition for a top-four finish and those who could fall short...

World Cup 2018: Ranking & latest odds on all 32 teams for the World Cup in Russia

World Cup Power rankings
World Cup Power rankings

Who tops our Power Rankings as we look at how all 32 teams stack up as we get closer to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The last round of friendly matches in April saw a few big results from some of the biggest games, with some World Cup favourites enhancing their reputations and some taking a bit of a battering.

But who are the teams to beat now? Here's our latest Power Rankings for the World Cup with their latest odds, via Sky Bet.

1. Brazil 4/1
The World Cup favourites at No.1? Yes I know it's boring but there's so much to like about this Brazil squad and not many holes to pick apart. These Samba boys should swagger through an easy group before avenging their own World Cup humiliation four years ago - they've got more than enough ammunition to do just that. That's why they're our World Cup outright tip and also top our rankings.

2. Germany 5/1
Defending World Cup champions don't have a great record recently, with just one of the last four escaping the group stages, but that just won't happen to the Germans. They've got nine of their winning squad from four years ago, but more importantly seven starters and they can even afford to leave out the man who scored the winner in the World Cup final.

3. Spain 11/2
The remarkable sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament is a massive blow for the Spanish. Lopetegui agreed to become Real Madrid manager but his bosses apparently found out five minutes before the announcement - it did not go down well. Will it be fatal to their chances? We'll find out but there's enough experience in this team to roll with even the biggest of punches.

4. France 6/1
An injury scare for Kylian Mbappe and uncertainty surrounding the future of several big names, including Antoine Griezmann, must be a worry for France backers given that there could be a lot of wandering minds in Russia. Still, they have a superb team with only perhaps their defence being the only question mark.

5. Belgium 10/1
This golden generation has been purring going into the World Cup - scoring goals for fun and looking dangerous from all kinds of angles. Lukaku, Hazard, De Bruyne will be a formidable foe for any team on their day – the big question is if they can handle the pressure, while personally having Roberto Martinez as manager would be a concern.

6. Uruguay 25/1
The universal 'sexy pick' as dark horses, Uruguay have what I think is the easiest task of getting out of the group, and even at 4/5 will be investing. They've got Luis Suarez and our Golden Boot tip Edinson Cavani alongside a grizzly defence and young talented midfield (Federico Valverde and Rodrigo Bentancur are ones to watch) which should make their group a cake walk. A group win should result in a Portugal second round which would be a tough defensive arm wrestle of a match.

7. Argentina 10/1
They've got an almighty array of attacking options in Messi, Higuain, Dybala and Aguero, and people forget they did reach the final four years ago, but they're just lying in the second band of challengers this time around as their build-up has just not convinced - particularly in a 6-1 hammering in Spain when without Messi.

8. Colombia 40/1
Quarter-finalists last time out when powered by James Rodriguez, but they also have Radamel Falcao this time around so you could argue they'll be even stronger. They produced a big upset when they came from 2-0 down to beat France 3-2 in Paris in their build-up which will have been a huge boost, and their Group H is wide open. They could be England's second round opponents.


Sporting Life World Cup podcast

Listen to the Sporting Life World Cup podcast
Click above to listen to the Sporting Life World Cup podcast

9. Portugal 25/1
I'm not a big lover of Portugal but you simply can't ignore them being European champions and having Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way after he won yet another Champions League title. They won't be pretty, but they know how to win a tournament now - the words streetwise, game management and tournament knowhow will be thrown about as they grind their way through the tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Golden Boot - 20/1

10. England 16/1
There's a lot to like about the way Gareth Southgate is going about his business, he seems to have a plan and is not afraid of using players he knows from the Under-21s. His three-man defence kept clean sheets against Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands and only conceded against Italy thanks to VAR - before wins over Nigeria and Costa Rica also offered hope of a decent showing. Quarter-finals would be a result.

11. Poland 66/1
The underrated Poles had a decent run at the Euros and were unlucky to go out to Portugal on penalties without actually losing a game in 90 minutes. They've got a great work ethic and in their all-time top scorer Robert Lewandowski they have a live 33/1 shot for the tournament's leading marksman, who is also in the shop window this summer. He bagged 16 goals to fire Poland to the World Cup including three hat-tricks, and in a wide open group they have a great chance of making the last 16.

12. Croatia 33/1
Another team who seem to be dark horses at every tournament They lost 2-0 to Peru but beat Mexico 1-0 in recent friendly games, despite being under strength, and the quality within the squad means they'll always be respected.

13. Serbia 150/1
Aleksandar Mitrovic fired Fulham into the Premier League but there's more to Serbia than just him and at the 11/10 on offer for them to qualify from Brazil's group ahead of Switzerland and Costa Rica looks one of the more appealing wagers.

14. Denmark 100/1
The Danes finished behind Poland in qualifying and it's hard to get a handle on how good this side are after a mixed bag of results in the build-up. You suspect they'll be as good as Christian Eriksen is in Russia but with just Australia and Peru standing between them and qualifying from France's group they should be in the last 16 at least.

15. Egypt 200/1

There'll be plenty of money coming from the Merseyside area on Mohamed Salah's Egypt getting out of their World Cup group that includes Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Salah's injury is the big question mark here, but missing the opening game against well-fancied Uruguay is not the worst result. Beating two of the worst teams in the tournament in the other two games would see them through.

Egypt are 5/4 to qualify from group A


Our best World Cup bets

Our team have scoured the markets ahead of the World Cup
Click above to see our team's best World Cup bets

16. Switzerland 150/1
Another team who suffered penalty shootout heartbreak at Euro 2016, the Swiss look to basically have a match bet against Serbia for second spot in Brazil's group to go for, given Costa Rica's form in the run-up.

17. Mexico 80/1
A 3-0 win over Iceland looked impressive in their pre-tournament build-up, but losing to under-strength Croatia showed how Mexico are a big question mark heading into the tournament. They seemingly always get through the group stages though, although no team has lost more second round games.

18. Sweden 150/1
They managed to beat Italy in a play-off despite having to qualify without Zlatan Ibrahimovic this time around. That in itself gives them a decent shout of at least getting out of Germany's group, although Mexico are standing in their way.

19. Morocco 500/1
There are a few people within Sporting Life towers who are keen to take Portugal on in Group B, and that means looking towards Morocco or Iran to pull off the upset and get through to the last 16. Morocco thumped Nigeria to win the African Nations Championship and went unbeaten in World Cup qualifying.

20. Iceland 250/1
The fairytale story from the Euros continued as they qualified for the World Cup ahead of Croatia, who they meet again in Group C of the World Cup. They'll have to ride their luck and produce more strong defensive showings but if they can get the better of Croatia again there could be another bout of Thunderclapping in this tournament.

21. Senegal 150/1
Sadio Mane headlines this third unbeaten side during qualifying, and this ranking could look rather stupid if they qualify - which they have every chance of - but when siding with Poland and Colombia then the Lions of Teranga miss out.

22. Nigeria 250/1
Another unbeaten African team in qualifying, Nigeria managed to beat Poland in a warm-up match but they've not looked great since. In a tough group as well I fancy Iceland will prove all wrong for them and Croatia and Argentina will outplay them quite comfortably.

23. Iran 2000/1
One of the most interesting teams to rank out of the lot! Iran stormed through qualifying and could be the best team from the Asian qualifying section at the World Cup. Coming up against Spain and Portugal is tough, although coach Carlos Queiroz will know all about Ronaldo's men. It'd still be a shock if they ruffled some feathers but not as big as their odds suggest.


World Cup group verdicts

Know it all for all for every groups at the World Cup
Click here to see our verdicts for every World Cup group

24. Peru 200/1
Peru are in the World Cup for the first time since 1982 after defeating New Zealand in a play-off, and they've proven their worth with friendly victories over Croatia and Iceland. Tough group for them though containing Australia, Denmark and France.

25. Tunisia 2000/1
They're not an awful side, and their opener against England will tell us a lot more, but third place behind the Belgium and the Three Lions is probably the best they can hope for.

26. Costa Rica 750/1
Quarter-finals last time out as they produced a big upset to get through a group containing Italy, England and Uruguay, but they've not really looked like that same team since and look like they could struggle this time around.

27. South Korea 500/1
Usually present a decent challenge in major tournaments and in Tottenham's Son Heung-min have one of the best players in the Premier League this season. However, they didn't impress in qualifying and have little confidence behind them.

28. Russia 66/1
Only South Africa have failed to navigate the group stage as a World Cup hosts, but if any side can match that 'achievement' it's Russia. Even manager Stanislav Cherchesov has admitted they're a way off being competitive and they'll need a huge home boost to do well.

29. Japan 250/1
Suffering a 4-1 defeat against South Korea in December was bad enough, but another loss to Ukraine and a draw against Mali mean things look bleak for Japan. Group H is wide open, apart from bottom spot looks nailed-on for the Japanese.

30. Australia 500/1
They'll need more than ball tampering to help them in the World Cup on the face of things - they were hardly convincing when squeezing through a play-off with Syria thanks to the ageing Tim Cahill just to make the finals.

31. Panama 5000/1
Making their tournament debut, it could be just too much to handle on their qualifying form, where they won just three games and finished with a negative goal difference.

32. Saudi Arabia 1000/1
For many, they look the weakest team of the tournament and bets on them to finish bottom of Group A, to lose every game and not to score a goal are more advised than anything positive.

Sky Bet's World Cup offer: Money back as free bet if your team goes out
Sky Bet's World Cup offer: Money back as free bet if your team goes out

Related World Cup content

Most Read Football

Check out today's Paper Talk1

Thursday's Paper Talk

Juventus want Marcus Rashford while Eden Hazard set to sign a new Chelsea contract - get all the back-page gossip from today's newspapers.

Wayne Rooney celebrates for DC United2

Rooney stunner sinks Toronto

Wayne Rooney rolled back the years as his stunning 30-yard free-kick earned DC United a 1-0 home win over Toronto.

The latest Sporting Life Accumulator3

Sporting Life Accumulator

Following another win last weekend, we have a four-fold accumulator in the EFL enhanced to a huge 75/1 by title sponsors Sky Bet.

Jose Mourinho reacts on the bench4

Scholes: Messi would struggle

Paul Scholes claims even Lionel Messi would struggle in the current Manchester United team and says the club are being laughed at by their rivals.

Three-horse Premier League title race: Between Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea5

Premier League top-six assessment

We take a look at the race for the Premier League title, competition for a top-four finish and those who could fall short...

Football Tips

Our best bets for Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough

Back corners at Hillsborough

The weekend's football kicks off at Hillsborough as Sheffield Wednesday take on Middlesbrough. We've found a 9/5 best bet.

Our best bets for Blackburn v Leeds

Leeds set to Klich at Ewood Park

Leeds will be looking to move back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table when they take on Blackburn. We look at the betting.

The latest Sporting Life Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

Following another win last weekend, we have a four-fold accumulator in the EFL enhanced to a huge 75/1 by title sponsors Sky Bet.