We’re nearly a month into World Cup action, and the field has shrunk to four. With just two rounds remaining, host nation Brazil and three of the finest international soccer programs will square off for quadrennial bragging rights. Will the semis and finals unfold as the World Cup odds suggest?
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Leading the pack of contenders are Lionel Messi and Argentina. They are +240 to win the World Cup, and those odds are no doubt influenced by the fact that they won’t have to tackle Germany or Brazil in the semifinals. The Argentinians will hope to ride the contributions of their superstar, who has already tallied four goals in five matches.
Brazil and Germany are both +250 to win the cup, and they are two of the most formidable squads soccer fans have seen in a while. Over the course of the World Cup, Germany has looked every bit the familiar contender it has always been. The Germans can now make a push for their first championship since 1990.
Brazil, in contrast, won it all back in 2002 and hopes to follow that up with a 2014 victory in honor of recently injured teammate Neymar, who will miss the remainder of the tournament.
Rounding out the top four are the reigning runner ups – the Dutch. The Netherlands defied soccer odds en route to the World Cup finals in 2010. Can they do it again in 2014, and would they even qualify as underdogs?