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Germany and Brazil remain the World Cup favourites but France drift after a tricky draw for Russia 2018

19:25 EAT 01/12/2017
World Cup 2018 draw GFX
The group stage draw for next summer's tournament has provided some mouth-watering clashes but Joachim Low's side remain the market principles

Each of the 32 teams heading to Russia for the 2018 World Cup now know who they will face in the opening stages of the tournament. The draw was made at the Kremlin on Friday afternoon and the bookmakers have reacted accordingly.

The competition looks a wide-open betting heat, with reigning champions Germany priced at 9/2 (5.50) to win back-to-back finals having triumphed in Brazil in 2014. Joachim Low's side will face Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.  

Five-time winners Brazil were 11/2 (6.50) with dabblebet prior to the groups being decided and are now 5/1 (6.0) with the same firm. Having failed to triumph on home soil four years ago, the South American side cruised through qualifying and are once again expected to be one of the leading contenders.

One team who didn't enjoy qualification so much are Argentina. Despite being packed with attacking talent, La Albiceleste laboured through the process but retained their status as a top seed. Lionel Messi & Co. will come up against Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria in a very tricky looking Group D and are 8/1 (from 17/2) with dabblebet.

France lost out in the final of Euro 2016 and Les Blues are 6/1 (7.0) to go one better on the international stage this time around, that's a slight drift compared to the previous quote of 11/2 (6.50). Didier Deschamps saw his team drawn alongside Peru, Australia and Denmark.

The team that beat France that day were Portugal and led by Cristiano Ronaldo, they shouldn't be overlooked but at 28/1 (from 22/1) they're certainly considered to be contenders for "best of the rest" as far as the bookmakers are concerned at this stage given they were paired with their Iberian neighbours. Should they emerge victorious, Portugal would be the fourth side to achieve back-to-back European Championship and World Cup triumphs.

Spain, one of the other three teams to achieve such a feat, were knocked out in the group stage when defending their World Cup crown in 2014 but they are unchanged at 15/2 (8.50) to repeat their 2010 victory in Russia this summer.

England were 18/1 (19.0) with dabblebet prior to the draw but are now 16/1 (17.0). Gareth Southgate's men are in Group G and will face 12/1 (13.0) shots Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Following a string of disappointing performances, the odds compilers certainly don't see the Three Lions as likely contenders for the final stages but the group does look a managable one. In their combined 23 international meetings with the three other sides in their group, England have won 16, drawn six and lost just one.

Elsewhere in the market Croatia are on offer at 33/1 (from 28/1), hosts Russia are 33/1 (from 40/1) in one of the bigger moves since the draw. Poland were a top seed and are 40/1 (41.0) from 50/1 (51.0) with dabblebet.

No team from outside South America or Europe has even won the World Cup but the most likely nation to buck that trend are deemed to be Mexico, who are 80/1 (81.0) shots ahead of their 16th appearance in the finals, the most of any team yet to be crowned champions. Two teams will be making their debut in this competition and Iceland (200/1) and Panama (1000/1) are both big prices in the outright market.

Draw in full

Group A: Russia, South Africa, Egypt, Uruguay

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

Get the latest World Cup odds with dabblebet now