Germany Repeating as World Cup Champs? Why and Why Not

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Can Germany Manager Joachim Low lead his defending championship side to the eternal glory of becoming the first team to retain the World Cup since Brazil in 1962? Well, Germany had been right up there with Brazil as the co-favorites to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but lately, the sportsbooks, supporters, football observers and pundits seem to be leaning slightly more towards the South American powerhouse.

On the eve of the World Cup, we caught up to the Captain of the team that most recently hoisted the Jules Rimet trophy, Bastian Schweinsteiger.

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“Like always we have a very good team and I think we are one of the favorites,” he responded when asked to assess Germany’s chances.

According to some World Cup analysis from SportsBettingDime.com, both Germany and Brazil opened with close to +500 odds to win the title. On October 16, 2017 Germany were slight favorites over Brazil, with Brazil being just over the +500.

Since that time money has come in on both countries as the tournament nears. With odds dropping on both, they can now each be had for an average of +400. Brazil has seen a bit more of that money and are now the consensus favorites with sportsbooks.

In fact, of the four books researched, three have Brazil priced as favorites, while only Bovada has Germany priced as number one.

It’s not just the bookies, but also football fans on the internet favoring Selecao over Die Mannschaft.

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According to players of ESPN FC’s Match Predictor game, Brazil are narrow favorites over the reigning title holders as 43% of players are backing Neymar and company to be the last team standing, as opposed to 38% predicting glory for Germany. This will be the first World Cup without Schweinsteiger since 2002, as he retired from international competition after UEFA Euro 2016. He earned 121 caps in his number 7 shirt, over the course of an international career that spanned 12 years.

Schweinsteiger admits it will feel a bit strange watching, instead of playing this time around.

“It is a little bit strange, the first time not being there, but I think I did my service to the national team and now is the time for other players to step in and I will be the biggest fan of course,” Basti told a small group of reporters after his Chicago Fire side played the New England Revolution to a 1-1 draw.

Schweini will fit in his World Cup watching around the schedule of his current team, who are now in the midst of the Major League Soccer season.

“We will have some TVs over here, so we’ll watch games over here as well,” he said.

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While some are betting against Germany, they must realize that they could be doing so against their own peril. The Germans are currently the world’s number ranked team, who cruised through the qualifying rounds, going 10-0-0 with 43 goals for and only four allowed.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud and YouTube.

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