While all eyes are on the South Americans going for glory in Brazil this summer, Al Hain-Cole sees value in backing holders Spain to prove their quality once againAs well as giving players potentially their final chance to seal a place in their country's World Cup squads, this week's international friendlies provide teams with an opportunity to send out a message that they mean business this summer.
|World Cup Outright
|Odds from bet365
With all seven previous tournaments held in the Americas having been lifted by a South American nation, Argentina are also strongly fancied at 4/1 (5.00) to become world champions for the first time since 1986 when they travel the short distance over the border.
At odds of 11/2 (6.50), Germany are seen to represent Europe's greatest chance for glory, having finished third at each of the last two tournaments.
However, Spain's price of 7/1 (8.00) looks rather more appealing considering the world and European champions have only lost three of their last 74 competitive fixtures on their way to lifting three major trophies in the last six years.
Supposed dark horses Belgium are available at a mere 14/1 (15.00) to go all the way in their first international tournament since 2002 after being handed a forgiving group featuring Algeria 1500/1 (1501.00), South Korea 300/1 (301.00) and Russia 80/1 (81.00).
Despite only making it to Brazil via the play-offs, France 20/1 (21.00) have also seen their odds drop after a kind group-stage draw, with Ecuador 125/1 (126.00), Switzerland 100/1 (101.00) and Honduras 2000/1 (2001.00) unlikely to provide too stern a test.
England's opponents Uruguay are rated at 25/1 (26.00) to win their third title, while fellow South Americans Colombia 25/1 (26.00) and Chile 50/1 (51.00) will be hoping to make the best of 'home' advantage.
Heavyweights Italy and Netherlands are relative outsiders at 28/1 (29.00) apiece despite featuring in the two most recent finals, with difficult draws chiefly to blame.
The Italians, of course, take on England in Group D, and Roy Hodgson's men are on offer at 33/1 (34.00) to end 48 years of hurt with the trophy, the same price as Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.
|Spain to win the World Cup for a 1pt stake at 7/1 (8.00) with bet365
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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.