The end of November 2013 marks the end of the qualifying stages of the 2014 World Cup to be held in Brazil, the qualifying groups are already taking shape with a number of teams virtually assured of reaching the Finals if they hold their nerve in the remaining games. Group A sees Belgium on 19 points and Croatia on 16 points with the nearest pursuer Serbia accumulating a mere 7 points. Italy head group B on 14 points and the current third favourites to win the World Cup outright, Germany a best priced 6/1 with Bet Victor, comfortably leading their group on 16 points.

All the remaining major players are in prime qualifying position barring England, who trail Montenegro in group H by 2 points with a game in hand. England qualification is far from assured with Montenegro on 14 points, England 12 points, Ukraine 11 points and a resurgent Poland on 9 points.

England’s next competitive fixture is against Moldova at home on 6th September 2013, which in all honesty should be a guaranteed 3 points in the bag. With Ukraine set to play San Marino on the same evening they should stay hot on England’s tail. The fixture to shape the group is undoubtedly Poland v Montenegro, with Poland a solid team when playing at home with the fans certain to make it a raucous atmosphere, Poland are currently slight favourites to take all 3 points at 9/10 with Montenegro 45/17. For those of you looking to place a bet Coral often go best priced on all the World Fixtures with a number of first and last goal scorer promotions, there is currently a £50 free bet offer for new players, www.freebetking.co.uk detail the terms and conditions with all the latest cash back offers.

Just 4 days later England travel to the Ukraine for yet another crunch fixture, this may very well be do or die time for a substandard England team, trading at 15/13 to land the win, England are far from certain to take all 3 points. The pressure will be piling up on Roy Hodgson who many believe is the wrong man for the job, the general consensus is the FA appointed a yes man rather than the somebody who can shape the team and get the best from the current crop of overpaid prima donnas. The odds on England lifting the World Cup are currently 22/1 with the majority of online bookmakers, with the betting exchanges a close up 24/1, this particular punter will not be rushing in to place a bet as they are far from certain to even qualify.

With the weight of an expecting nation on their shoulders, England always fail to deliver when it matters. The fans blindly get behind their team and the odds inevitably tumble as the media hype up their chances, but many discerning football gambler knows all too well the current England team is just not good enough, with no passion, a lack of clinical goal scorers on the big stage and an unhealthy reliance on Wayne Rooney not breaking the scales and becoming yet another over weight and overpaid World Cup flop.

The host nation Brazil are ticking along nicely and will surely take some stopping on home turf, trading at a best priced 9/2 this represents fantastic value especially with automatic qualification assured. The Confederations Cup gives them a great opportunity to try out a wealth of exciting young talent in Neymar, Oscar, Lucas and Fernando in competitive high stakes games, the perfect build up to a tilt at World Cup glory on home soil.