Is being the host nation in the World Cup a curse?

Whilst all nations of the world are going to be eager to be the host country of the FIFA World Cup, apart from the financial benefits of hosting the tournament and automatically qualifying for the Group Stages, there are no guarantees the host nations team will perform well on the pitch!

There is of course the benefit of the home advantage, and what I have done today is to put together some stats that will allow you to see just how well the national team of several different countries have performed in the past when hosting this tournament.

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Six host nations have won the World Cup

It may surprise you to learn that only six teams have won the World Cup that were also the host nation, and they include Uruguay back in 1930, Italy in 1934 and England who were crowned champions way back in 1966.

Due to the collapse or should I say destruction of the Berlin Wall, West Germany did of course become a combined East and West German team, but West Germany as they were then known were both hosted and were winners of the tournament back in 1974.

Argentina who you may fancy backing this year to win, hosted the tournament in 1978 and went on to win it, and the most recent team to host and win the World Cup was France in 1988.

Worst and best performing World Cup hosts

Getting through automatically to the group stages of the World Cup, does not of course guarantee that the form the host team is going to suddenly be improved, and as such let now now enlighten you on some host nations whose teams performed spectacularly poorly or exceptionally well over the last few years.

The worst finish by host team in the history of the event was an honour bestowed on South Africa back in 2010, for try as they may they could not get any higher than position 17 out of 32, which turned out to be a ranking of 20th after FIFA had put together their final official rankings.

The best recorded finish by a defending champion team is one that both Italy and Brazil have in 1938 and 1962 respectively. The worst finish, if you could call it a finish that any team that was hosting the World Cup was way back in 1934, when Uruguay the host nation refused to take part in the tournament due to many European nations refusing to also take part in it!

Best finish by a debuting team in the World Cup

It was back in the 1930s that two debuting teams had all the luck in the world and managed to beat their respective odds and win the World Cup. Those teams where both Uruguay and Italy, a fete that no other debuting teams have managed to so far replicate!

In fact, since 1934 the only teams to have had any luck regarding their final finishing positions in the World Cup have been Portugal and Croatia both of whom finished in third place in 1966 and 1998 respectively.

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What does 2018 have in store for Russia?

You may be sat there right now planning your betting strategy for this year’s World Cup, and if so then allow me to give you an insight into what the betting markets indicate as to the chances of Russia not only winning this tournament, but also on a range of different potential outcomes too.

Russia are certainly not one of the favourites to win, for the betting market I did checkout from one of the UK’s largest betting companies sees them listed as the joint eleventh favourite team to win currently at odds of 33/1, obviously those odds will change if they do well in the group stages!

You may however fancy trying to predict at which stage of the tournament Russia will be eliminated, and if so many bookmakers give the following odds on them being knocked out at various stages.

For Russia to be eliminated at the Group Stage the odds of them doing so are 12/5, if you think they will make it through to the 2nd Round but then get knocked out during that round the odds available are 13/8.

A reasonable bet I feel is regarding Russia being knocked out in the Quarter Final, and the best odds I have so far seen on that eventuality are 3/1. If they make it to the Semi Final and get knocked out, then you will be paid out at odds of 15/2 if that was the bet you chose to place.

The only two other possible outcomes for Russia are to be the Runner Up and the chances of that happening are low, and as such the odds available on that type of bet are high at 22/1, however the outright winner odds on Russia are 33/1!

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