2018 FIFA World Cup Free Bets

The biggest football competition in the world and - until we meet life from other planets and see how good they are at the beautiful game - the universe. The 2018 competition will take place in Russia in what will see each of the World's footballing super powers go head-to-head in pursuit of the sport's ultimate accolade. The tournament is big business for all involved and of course the bookmakers, with a host of enhanced odds and promotions.

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What can I use World Cup free bets on?

In the build up to the tournament, there is the lengthy qualifying procedure. During this period there are a host of games to bet on, as well as the opportunity to wager on which sides will and will not make the tournament. When the World Cup is on there are hundreds of markets on all the televised games (which is all of them) as nearly every bookmaker looks to make the most of the tournament’s popularity.

The most popular markets people use their free World Cup bet on include overall winner, top scorer and player of the tournament. A lot of markets focus on individual nations and who will be their top scorer as well as which stage of the competition that team will exit.

All sorts of specials will also be available on silly things like ‘Will Luis Suarez bite anyone again?’ and ‘Will Cristiano Ronaldo cry at some point?’

Other markets on during the World Cup include:

  • Highest scoring team
  • Team to get most red cards
  • Total corners in tournament
  • Total penalties in tournament
  • Number of goals from headers

2018 World Cup All You Need To Know

With the play-off stages having now concluded, we now know the identity of all 32 teams that will be heading to Russia next summer! 

In Europe, there are nine teams to have confirmed their spots after winning the respective qualifying groups. The big guns in Germany, France and Spain will all be amongst the favourites by the time the competition rolls around whilst England will also be there to make up the numbers! European champions Portugal ended up winning their group ahead of Switzerland to be assured of their spot whilst the other group winners include Serbia, Poland, Belgium and Iceland. Iceland who did so well at Euro 2016 have now become the smallest ever nation to qualify for the World Cup, despite having a population of just 330,000. 

In the play-offs, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland all made sure they would be occupied over the summer months. The Croatians put their feet up after thrashing Greece 4-1 in the first leg in Zagreb. It was just a case of seeing the job through in the second leg and they claimed a 0-0 draw to ensure the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic will be gracing the tournament. Sweden pulled off the biggest upset of the European play-offs as they beat Italy 1-0 on aggregate. That result means the Italians miss out on the competition for the first time since 1958 as Gianluigi Buffon's illustrious international career ended in heartbreak. Switzerland were also involved in a closely fought tie as they beat Northern Ireland 1-0 over the two legs. The Swiss victory came courtesy of a controversial penalty in Belfast but regardless of how they got there, they will be in the hat for the group stage draw. Republic of Ireland's hopes of a first World Cup since 2002 came crashing down as they were hammered 5-1 at home to Denmark. A 0-0 draw in Copenhagen saw things evenly poised for the return leg in Dublin but a Christian Eriksen hat-trick inspired the Danes to victory.

There was a lot of focus on South America at the end of the qualification process as it looked as though Argentina may miss out. The Argies went in to their final game away to Ecuador needing to win and got off to the worst possible start as they went behind after just 30 seconds. However in their time of desperate need, Argentina could rely on their talisman Lionel Messi to dig them out of a whole as the Barcelona icon hit a hat-trick to ensure his nation's qualification. The 3-1 victory meant Argentina finished third in the South American qualifying table and would progress along with Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia.

In Africa, Egypt and Nigeria confirmed themselves as qualifiers early and were joined by Tunisia and Senegal look likely to join them. The Ivory Coast and Morocco met in November in Abidjan with Morocco winning 2-0 to claim the fifth and final spot from the African region.

From the Asian region Japan, Iran, South Korea and Saudi Arabia are all assured of their places in Russia next summer.

In the inter-continental play-offs, Australia ensured they would make a fourth tournament in a row after they beat Honduras 3-1 in Sydney. A 0-0 draw in the first leg meant it was all to play for in Sydney but a hat-trick for Mile Jedinak ensured a safe passage for the Socceroos. The Aussies will not be joined by their near neighbours New Zealand however. The Kiwis were beaten 2-0 by Peru in Lima after drawing the first leg 0-0 in Wellington.

World Cup Draw

The draw for the group stages took place on December 1st and this has made the betting markets for the 2018 World Cup will become really interesting as the countdown begins to the opening fixture between Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 14th. It was a decent draw for England who have to play Tunisia and Panama before taking on Belgium.

Group A -  Russia Saudi Arabia   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

The Early Favourites

The market for the winner of the tournament is already open despite the fact we only know a handful of the teams set to be involved. However when observing the different qualification groups, it's clear to see which nations are in strong positions to qualify. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the teams expected to be amongst the frontrunners for the big prize come the start of the tournament.

Germany

The reigning World Champions are currently the shortest price to retain their trophy and were victorious in the 2017 Confederations Cup. That tournament serves as a bit of a dress rehearsal ahead of the real McCoy the following summer and what was particularly impressive about that victory is that Joachim Low picked a very youthful squad. Despite the fact there was no Manuel Neuer, no Toni Kroos, no Matts Hummels, no Mesut Ozil, no Jerome Boateng, they still managed to lift the trophy. It shows just how much quality they can call upon and with the triumphant members of the Confederations Cup combined with those more experienced heads, they are going to take some stopping

Brazil

Always there or there abouts when it comes to a list of favourites for a World Cup, the five time winners will be eager to right the wrongs of 2014. The 7-1 defeat they suffered in the Semi-final's at the hands of Germany will go down as one of the most shocking results in football history and they will be desperate to avenge that humiliation. There's plenty of talent in the squad and let's not forget they were missing their two most influential players, Neymar and Thiago Silva, in that Germany defeat. Can Neymar inspire his country to victory? We think it will be tough for the Brazilians on Russian soil and don't see the value in backing them.

France

The runners-up at Euro 2016 on home soil, the French will be hoping to go one better as they head east for the World Cup. Much like Germany, they have a squad bursting at the seams with talent and it's going to be interesting to see if Didier Deschamps can finally find away to extract the very best from each of his key players. Nonetheless it's a task that many international managers will envy given the players at his disposal including the likes of N'golo Kante and Paul Pogba in midfield and Antoine Griezmann in attack. That's not too mention the abundance of talented youngsters to have emerged in recent years with the likes of Corentin Tolisso, Thomas Lemar, Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe. The issue at the Euros, despite their run to the final, was a disjointed looking team relying on moments of individual brilliance rather than a fluid, functioning team performance. If they click however, the French are going to be frightening.

Spain

For so long the dominant force in World football, Spain's reign came to an abrupt end at the 2014 World Cup when they were thrashed 5-1 by Holland in their opening game and were eventually knocked out at the group stage. Their performance at Euro 2016 was not much better as they were eliminated in the last 16 stage but could they possibly get back to the summit of World football in Russia? Many of the players from their previous successes are now in to their 30's and the new crop, whilst talented does not appear to match up to some of the other sides set for Russia 2018.

Outside Bets

Poland

The Poles topped their group in qualifying, winning eight of their 10 games and scoring plenty of goals in the process. Robert Lewandowski scored 16 times in qualifying, making him the top scorer in the European section and the Bayern Munich frontman is one of the main reasons that Poland could be considered an outside punt for the tournament. It's a talented group with Lewandowski the undoubted star and it's also worth noting that they only went out of the Euro's on penalties at the hands of eventual winners Portugal. Their fans are sure to travel in large numbers across to Russia so they'll be backed by huge support so they could be worth a pound or two.

Uruguay 

After finishing behind only Brazil in the South American qualifying section, Uruguay should not be underestimated by any stretch of the imagination. After all, any side that boasts a strikeforce of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez is going to be a dangerous prospect. With Atletico Madrid duo Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez at the back, there's defensive solidity to boot and you won't find too many sides that can boast star names like those at the price of Uruguay.

The best options for your free World Cup bet...

When play kicks off the usual markets will be available and after the success of underdogs Colombia, Costa Rica and Chile in Brazil 2014, there could be value in backing some unfancied teams again. Hosts Russia will be keen to prove they can be a world beater after some disappointing performances in recent tournaments, but depending on how the groups fall there will likely be teams like Ukraine and Poland hoping to be the 2018 version of Costa Rica.

As ever the tournament will have its very own ball commissioned and as has become customary in recent years it is incredibly light and apparently difficult to use. The tournament organisers seem to want to encourage spectacular long-range goals but while it seemed to end up with lots of wayward shots in 2010, in 2014 there were some spectacular goals (including James Rodriguez's thunderbolt for Colombia) so there will no doubt be odds on the number of long-range goals in 2018 in Russia.

Claiming your World Cup free bet

Making use of your free World Cup bet couldn’t be simpler. Begin by picking out which of the sign-up offers best suits your punting style and budget, then register for a new sports betting account with that bookmaker by clicking on a link or banner that you see on FREEbets.org.uk and entering your details. Once you have registered you’ll need to make an initial deposit (unless your chosen free bet offer states that no deposit is required) and place a bet.

Once your initial bet has been placed and settled, your free bet will be released. Then in order to utilise your free bet tokens simply place a bet in the same manner as you would normally, but select the ‘free bet’ icon before confirming.

Free bets on the World Cup can be used on anything from backing a team for relegation or a top four finish, to betting on the first goalscorer in any particular game, the match result or the number of corners taken.

The World Cup is the pinnacle of global football and the biggest prize a footballer can hope to win. Only a few players have managed to get their hands on the famous trophy which has been handed out every four years since 1930 (except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held due to the Second World War). It has always, though, run during the summer when the domestic football campaign isn't playing.

The format for the World Cup has evolved in the 84 years it has been going. Originally just thirteen teams took part in the first tournament in 1930, now the competition is preceded by a three-year qualification phase. At the World Cup Finals 32 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation, compete in a month-long orgy of football until there is one team still standing.

Unsurprisingly, given it is the biggest competing for the world’ most popular sport, it brings in huge television audiences. The World Cup is the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games. The cumulative audience of all matches of the 2006 World Cup was estimated to be 26.29 billion with around 715.1 million people watching the final match. To put it into perspective that is a ninth of the entire population of earth.

Some of the greatest games of football ever witnessed have been at the World Cup with players going beyond the call of duty for their nations on the biggest stage. The last World Cup was in 2014 and was won by Germany. The next two tournaments will be fairly controversial, being hosted Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. Both choices have been criticised and will be heavily scrutinised; Russia in light of the 2014 Crimean crisis and Qatar for allegations of vote-buying and poor working conditions for foreign workers. FIFA have admitted the Qatar World Cup might even have to be played during the winter because of the extreme heat in Qatar in the summer.

The World Cup has broken new ground in recent years having ventured to the Far-East with Japan and to South Africa in 2010 but they returned to more traditional footballing shores in 2014 as it headed to Brazil. The South American country had hosted the competition once before all the way back in 1950 when they famously lost out to Uruguay in the final in front of nearly 200,000 people in the Maracana. The 2014 competition did not end much more favourably as the Brazilians were humiliated by eventual winners Germany 7-1 in the semi-final in one of the most incredible World Cup games ever.

Who has previously won? 

Only a few teams despite the hundreds who have tried to qualify over the past 80 or so years. There have been 20 World Cups in that time and they have been won by just eight different teams; Brazil the most with five; Germany and Italy with four, Argentina and Uruguay with two and France, Spain and England with one. Brazil also hold another record as the only team to have entered every tournament since 1930.

The 20 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Brazil have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Cup winners are Italy and Germany, with four titles each; Argentina and inaugural winners Uruguay, with two titles each; and England, France and Spain, with one title a piece.

Germany hold a fair few records, having played the most World Cup matches (106) and appeared in the most finals (8), semi-finals (13), quarter-finals (16) as well as scoring the most World Cup goals (224). They can also boast having the World Cup's all-time top scorer, with Miroslav Klose having scored 16 times in the competition.

Some of the greatest players ever to kick a ball have graced and won the World Cup, and going though them is a veritable Who’s Who of world football. Pele, Roberto Baggio, Franz Beckenbauer, Lionel Messi, Garrincha, Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona have all done their stuff on the biggest stage of all (although only some of the have been lucky enough to be winners by the end of it). Messi and Baggio both single-handedly dragged their teams to the 1990 and 2014 finals respectively but both ended up losers in the final.


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