Germany’s deserved World Cup victory and the average age of their triumphant squad has led to suggestions in some quarters that Die Mannschaft might be set to dominate international football for a few years.
Indeed, Joachim Low’s troops have immediately been installed as 5/1 favourites by betway, to win the 2018 tournament in Russia, they’re also Winner.com’s 7/2 jollies to be crowned European champions in France in 2016 and Ladbrokes post 27/1 against the Germans prevailing on both fronts.
Spain are just 5/1 at BetVictor to bounce back from their World Cup disappointment to capture the Euro 2016 crown and 8/1 courtesy of Paddy Power to regain the world title in 2018, the same odds bet365 chalk against this year’s beaten finalists Argentina.
Following their disappointing showing on home soil, meanwhile, Brazil are 9/1 (Skybet) to make amends by lifting the famous trophy in four years time and Stan James quote England at 25/1 to improve significantly on a 2014 campaign that saw them fail to emerge from the group. Finallly, they’re 16/1 courtesy of BetVictor to triumph at Euro 2016, qualifying for which gets going in September.
On Tuesday, thousands of supporters gave the world champions a hero’s welcome as they landed in Berlin and another German hoping to make a triumphant return home is Nico Rosberg, a 15/8 chance with Stan James to win this weekend’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
The 29-year-old currently leads the Formula One Drivers Championship but Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton is breathing down his neck and the latter is bet365’s odds-on, 4/7 favourite to claim maximum points in Germany.
Hamilton is also 1/2 (William Hill) to start in pole position and it’s just 4/9 at Ladbrokes for the Brit and Rosberg to cross the finish line first, in any order.
Darts legend Phil Taylor will only head to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens as the World Matchplay’s sponsors BetVictor’s 10/3 second favourite behind Dutchman Michael Van Gerwen (2/1, Stan James).
Last year’s runner-up Adrian Lewis is 9/1 with bet365 to go one better at the Empress Ballroom this time around but Skybet’s 12/1 chance Gary Anderson might be worth a modest flutter in light of his improving form.
Things are hotting up in Super League, with the top five teams now separated by just two points.
A couple of those sides go head-to-head tonight (Thursday) as Leeds entertain Castleford. The hosts get the nod from bookies, William Hill going 4/11 about a Rhinos victory at Headingley, where they’re 10/11 (bet365) to overhaul the Tigers’ eight-point start in the handicaps.
In tomorrow’s televised clash, Widnes look set to lose to local rivals Warrington but the 18-point start they receive at 10/11 in William Hill’s handicaps seems a little on the high side.
Finally, Dublin hosts the latest UFC event in the increasingly popular sport of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) this weekend and home favourite Conor McGregor heads the bill, hoping to put himself in contention for a world title shot in the featherweight division by beating Diego Brandao.
William Hill rate the Irishman at just 2/7 to get the better of his Brazilian opponent and for punters seeking chunkier prices, Paddy Power post 10/11 against McGregor securing victory inside the scheduled distance. Meanwhile, the charismatic Dubliner is 2/1 (BetVictor) to finish an explosive contest in the opening round.
Also in action is Englishman Brad Pickett, a slight outsider at 11/8 via Stan James to see off American Ian McCall, Northern Ireland’s Norman Parke is 2/7 (Ladbrokes) to overcome Japanese submission expert Naoyuki Kotani and hometown fighter Cathal Pendred is 8/15 courtesy of Stan James to mark his full UFC debut by defeating Mike King.
Bet of the week: Gary Anderson to win Darts’ World Matchplay – 12/1 (Skybet).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com