From brilliant Brazil to unfancied Panama: World Cup 2018 power rankings

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Goal takes a look at all 32 challengers, with the tournament set to get under way on June 14

  1. =32. Panama

    Qualifying route: CONCACAF Fifth Round third place

    dabblebet odds to win: 1000/1

    Panama will be competing at the World Cup for the first time in history after emerging as the surprise package in CONCACAF qualifying.

    The Central American side managed to draw with the United States and Costa Rica in the qualification process, results which helped them secure a third-place finish.

    The backbone of their squad is made up of players who are plying their trade in Major League Soccer and, while they are not likely to challenge for the title, they will be hoping they can frustrate Belgium, England and Tunisia in Group G.

  2. =32. Saudi Arabia

    Qualifying route: AFC Third Round Group B runners up

    dabblebet odds to win: 1000/1

    Saudi Arabia are back in the World Cup after failing to qualify for the previous two editions and the draw has placed them in Group A alongside Uruguay, Egypt and tournament hosts Russia.

    Managed by Juan Antonio Pizzi, who steered Chile to the final of the Confederations Cup, they face a difficult fight to qualify from the group and their odds reflect that.

    However, if players such as Salem Al-Dawsari and Yahya Al-Shehri play to their potential, Pizzi's side could spring an upset or two.

  3. =30. Tunisia

    Qualifying route: CAF Group A winners

    dabblebet odds to win: 500/1

    Tunisia find themselves up against it in Group G alongside Belgium, England and Panama.

    The North African men breezed through qualification to book their place in Russia, but they will have to step things up a gear if they are to have a chance of progressing - something they have failed to do on four previous occasions.

    Players such as Rennes midfielder Wahbi Khazri and Esperance's Anice Badri will be crucial to their efforts.

  4. =30. Iran

    Qualifying route: AFC Third Round Group A winners

    dabblebet odds to win: 500/1

    In the four appearances Iran have made at previous tournaments, they have finished bottom of their group on three occasions, winning just one game out of 12, so history is not on their side.

    However, they have an experienced coach at the helm in the form of Carlos Queiroz, who will attempt to make amends for a poor showing in Brazil four years ago.

    While they do not necessarily boast any household names in their squad, Eredivisie stars Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Reza Ghoochannejhad, along with Rubin Kazan forward Sardar Azmoun, boast plenty of ability.

  5. =30. South Korea

    Qualifying route: AFC Third Round Group A runners up

    dabblebet odds to win: 500/1

    South Korea have qualified for the last eight World Cups, reaching the semi-finals as hosts in 2002 and progressing to the last 16 in 2010, but history suggests that they will struggle to make an impact in Russia this summer.

    Placed in Group F with Mexico, Germany and Sweden, their chances of progressing look slim and it will be a surprise if they emerge in the last 16.

    Tottenham star Heung-min Son is a quality forward, but the 25-year-old simply does not have enough similarly talented collaborators around him.

  6. =30. Morocco

    Qualifying route: CAF Group C winners

    dabblebet odds to win: 500/1

    Having been drawn with Spain, Portugal and Iran, Morocco's chances of reaching the knock-out stage are not looking good, but they will be hopeful of sneaking a couple of positive results.

    Head coach Herve Renard has returned them to the global stage for the first time since 1998 and he will be eager to cement his legacy by emulating the team of 1986, which reached the last 16 - incidentally beating Portugal in the process.

    However, anything further than that is highly unlikely.

  7. =30. Costa Rica

    Qualifying route: CONCACAF Fifth Round second place

    dabblebet odds to win: 500/1

    Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup after topping the group of death ahead of England, Italy and Uruguay. However, a repeat of that feat seems unlikely in 2018.

    Los Ticos still possess the likes of Keylor Navas and Bryan Ruiz in their squad, but those players are now past the peak of their powers. Indeed, their preparation for Russia has shown them to be inconsistent and they have lost four of their six post-qualification games, which does not bode well.

    Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland lie in wait, so they will have to improve if they want to qualify for the knock-out stage.

  8. =30. Australia

    Qualifying route: Inter-confederational play-off winners

    dabblebet odds to win: 500/1

    In Bert van Marwijk, Australia have a new coach steering their fortunes heading into the World Cup and they will be confident in their ability to clinch one of the two qualification places in Group C, but it won't be straightforward.

    The Socceroos will face off against France, Denmark and Peru in the first stage, all of which pose serious threats. Van Marwijk will be relying on his side to remain disciplined, but, in the absence of an established goalscorer - other than 38-year-old Tim Cahill - it may prove difficult to find the back of the net.

  9. 24. Japan

    Qualifying route: AFC Third Round Group B winners

    dabblebet odds to win: 250/1

    Japan have a good chance of reaching the last 16 of the World Cup, but they are likely to struggle to go any further in the tournament.

    With the likes of Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki in their squad, Samurai Blue will feel they can finish in the top two in Group H, which also contains Colombia, Poland and Senegal.

    Their form in the build-up to the tournament has been poor, however, and coach Akira Nishino will need to rectify the issues if they are to progress.

  10. =23. Senegal

    Qualifying route: CAF Group D winners

    dabblebet odds to win: 200/1

    Senegal were comfortable winners of CAF Group D, going unbeaten against Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and South Africa to qualify for the World Cup for just the second time in their history. 

    It has been 16 years since the Lions last reached the tournament and they will be hopeful of emulating the team that reached the quarter-finals in Japan & Korea.

    They come up against a tough trio of opponents in Group H, though, with Colombia, Japan and Poland waiting for them in Russia.

  11. =23. Iceland

    Qualifying route: UEFA Group I winners

    dabblebet odds to win: 200/1

    With a population of just over 350,000, Iceland are defying the odds by competing at the World Cup, reaching the tournament for the first time in their history. Remarkably, they did so by topping a qualification group containing Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey.

    They've been placed in a group with Argentina, Nigeria and familiar foes Croatia, which should make for some interesting match-ups.

    Qualification from the group is certainly achievable - as they showed at Euro 2016 - but their pre-tournament form since qualifying has been dismal, which is a concern.

  12. =23. Nigeria

    Qualifying route: CAF Group B winners

    dabblebet odds to win: 200/1

    Nigeria have a rich history at the World Cup but they haven't been able to live up to expectations on the world stage, often falling short.

    They'll be competing in the tournament for the sixth time in Russia, but have landed in a difficult group alongside Croatia, Iceland and - once again - Argentina.

  13. =20. Peru

    Qualifying route: Inter-confederational play-off winners

    dabblebet odds to win: 150/1

    Peru are back at the World Cup for the first time since 1982 and the South American side will be eager to do their country proud in Russia.

    Los Incas finished fifth in CONMEBOL qualification, marginally behind Argentina and Colombia, and they booked their place in the finals by beating New Zealand in the inter-confederational play-off.

    France, Australia and Denmark are their opponents in Group C and their chances of progression have been boosted by the confirmation that Paolo Guerrero is available to play.

  14. =20. Egypt

    Qualifying route: CAF Group E winners

    dabblebet odds to win: 150/1

    Out of all the African teams competing at the World Cup, Egypt may be the best equipped to go furthest. The reason? Two words: Mohamed Salah.

    Of course, the Liverpool star is facing a desperate race to regain full fitness after being injured in the Champions League final, but, should he show up, the Pharaohs will be a force to be reckoned with.

    They have a good chance of getting out of their group too, with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay to play in Group A.

  15. =20. Serbia

    Qualifying route: UEFA Group D winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 150/1

    Serbia appear to be rejuvenated after enduring a difficult number of years, which saw them miss out on the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.

    Having topped UEFA qualifying Group D ahead of the Republic of Ireland and Wales, Serbia will take on Brazil, Costa Rica and Switzerland in Russia.

    The likes of Dusan Tadic, Nemanja Matic and Aleksandar Kolarov are all highly experienced and will be eager to make up for the barren period.

  16. 17. Sweden

    Qualifying route: UEFA play-off winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 125/1

    Sweden booked their place at the 2018 World Cup at the expense of Italy and they were very much deserving of their triumph.

    Despite being without the star quality of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Janne Andersson's men have formed a reliable unit and they have the ability to cause problems for the opposition.

    They come up against the reigning champions Germany, as well as Mexico and South Korea in Group F.

  17. =16. Denmark

    Qualifying route: UEFA play-off winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 100/1

    Despite requiring a play-off to seal qualification, Denmark will have their eyes on reaching he knock-out stages and, with Christian Eriksen in their squad, they cannot be underestimated at the World Cup.

    Age Hareide's men will come up against France, Peru and Australia in Group C

  18. =16. Mexico

    Qualifying route: CONCACAF Fifth Round first place

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 100/1

    Mexico may not be among the favourites to win the World Cup, but Juan Carlos Osorio's men should certainly be considered 'dark horses', capable of going far into the knock-out stages.

    El Tri have made a habit of getting out of the group stage at the tournament and they will be aiming to continue that in Russia, but they will face stern opposition from Sweden, South Korea and reigning champions Germany.

  19. =16. Switzerland

    Qualifying route: UEFA play-off winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 100/1

    They are not a traditional European football superpower, but Switzerland have become one of the most consistent teams in world football over the past two decades and, with the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka in their squad, they are not short of quality either.

  20. 13. Poland

    Qualifying route: UEFA Group E winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 66/1

    Poland are not expected to be in the mix in the final stages of the World Cup, but they could spring a few surprises in Russia this summer.

    Indeed, the Eagles topped their qualification group, pipping Denmark, and they possess arguably the best striker in the world: Robert Lewandowski.

  21. =12. Colombia

    Qualifying route: CONMEBOL fourth place

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 40/1

    Colombia enjoyed a memorable tournament in Brazil four years ago as they reached the quarter-finals and they will be hoping for a similar outcome in Russia, if not better.

    The likes of James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado form a dangerous attacking unit which is capable of striking fear into any defence.

    However, they will first have to overcome Senegal, Poland and Japan in Group H if they are to emulate their 2014 journey.

  22. =12. Russia

    Qualifying route: Hosts

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 40/1

    Russia have waned as a football powerhouse in recent years and their performances at major tournaments have been testimony to that, having exited the group stage of the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 without registering a single victory.

    Nevertheless, they are the tournament hosts and history has shown that teams frequently become sufficiently energised by the home support to mount creditable campaigns. Indeed, the fact that the hosts have won the World Cup six times will surely help to inspire the home side.

  23. 10. Croatia

    Qualifying route: UEFA play-off winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 33/1

    With the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic in their squad, Croatia are a team capable of going toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the world and they will be eager to show that in Russia after exiting at the group stage in Brazil four years ago.

    Perennial 'dark horses', they've been grouped with Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland - who actually beat them to automatic qualification.

  24. 9. Uruguay

    Qualifying route: CONMEBOL runners up

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 28/1

    Two-time World Cup winners Uruguay have consistently impressed at the tournament, regularly reaching the knock-out stages.

    In Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani they possess two of the best strikers in world football, while Diego Godin is widely admired as one of the best defenders around too.

    That level of ability and experience will stand them in good stead as they seek to qualify from Group A and make an impact in Russia.

  25. 8. Portugal

    Qualifying route: UEFA Group B winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 22/1

    Portugal arrive in Russia as European champions, yet they are still considered to be among the outsiders to win the World Cup.

    Their performances at recent editions have been abysmal, with even Cristiano Ronaldo struggling to make his presence felt.

    However, they cannot be written off and Ronaldo will be desperate to finally add the one trophy that has eluded him to his cabinet.

  26. 7. England

    Qualifying route: UEFA Group F winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 16/1

    Unlike previous years, England arrive in Russia for the World Cup with very little expected of them at the tournament.

    While teams of the past have been heralded as potential winners, Gareth Southgate's men are firmly considered to be outsiders and that may actually suit them.

    Newly instated captain Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world and any Three Lions success will inevitably revolve around the Tottenham star's ability to hit the back of the net.

  27. 6. Belgium

    Qualifying route: UEFA Group H winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 10/1

    Belgium's 'Golden Generation' have now entered their prime and, after several false starts, the time may just be right for them to pick up their first ever major honour.

    Roberto Martinez has brought a squad to Russia that is positively brimming with talent, including Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, so they will be expected to challenge for glory.

  28. 5. Argentina

    Qualifying route: CONMEBOL third place

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 9/1

    Beaten finalists at the 2014 World Cup, Argentina will be expected to challenge once more in Russia and it may just be the last opportunity for Lionel Messi to finally clinch honours with his country. However, their preparations for the competition have not been particularly smooth.

    They went perilously close to missing out on a place at the tournament, with Messi coming to their rescue in the final qualifier against Ecuador, and Manuel Lanzini has been forced out of the squad due to injury. Controversies over team selections and contentious friendly games have not helped in the build-up either.

    Nevertheless, Messi comes into the tournament on the back of an impressive season with Barcelona and his influence on the team is profound.

  29. 4. France

    Qualifying route: UEFA Group A winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 13/2

    France boast one of the most impressive squads at the World Cup, with incredible depth present in every area of the field.

    N'Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann are just some of the stars in a team that will be expected to challenge.

    They were beaten in the final of Euro 2016, but Didier Deschamps' men will have learned their lesson from that defeat.

  30. 3. Spain

    Qualifying route: UEFA Group G winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 6/1

    Spain ruled world football from 2008 to 2012, winning the World Cup in 2010 in between back-to-back European Championships.

    They suffered a decline in the years since, falling dramatically short at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, but they look primed to mount a serious challenge once more.

    La Roja have not lost a single game since their Euro 2016 last-16 defeat to Italy and they will be full of confidence in Russia this summer, despite the shock departure of Julen Lopetegui as head coach on the eve of the tournament.

  31. 2. Germany

    Qualifying route: UEFA Group C winners

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 5/1

    Germany arrive in Russia as defending champions and they will have realistic expectations of adding a record-equalling fifth title to their collection.

    Joachim Low's side still includes the bulk of the squad that won the World Cup in Brazil four years ago and he has augmented that panel with a selection of younger players who will be expected to lead the next generation.

    It may well be Low's last campaign as Germany boss, with speculation never ceasing about different club jobs, and a second world title would be a fitting send-off for the long-serving manager.

  32. 1. Brazil

    Qualifying route: CONMEBOL first place

    ​dabblebet odds to win: 4/1

    Five-time world champions Brazil have been transformed since their disappointment on home soil four years ago, with new boss Tite restoring plenty of pride in the team.

    The Selecao lost just one game in their qualification campaign, comfortably finishing at the top of the CONMEBOL section, 10 points ahead of their nearest challengers, Uruguay.

    And, with talisman Neymar fully fit in time for the big kick-off, they have been handed a major boost.