When considering options in terms of the World Cup 2014 betting odds, it is useful to try and explore different avenues and look at teams from a continent which is still emerging as a power on the football scene – Africa.
Ghana cruelly denied
Africa has slowly been making progress on the international stage and this was demonstrated by Ghana (photo) in 2010 as they reached the quarter-finals before being controversially ousted by Uruguay.
The Black Stars came so close to becoming the first African nation to reach the final four of the competition.
However, a handball by Luis Suarez denied them a late winner with almost the last kick of the game in extra time and the subsequent penalty was fired over the bar by Asamoah Gyan. Uruguay claimed victory in the penalty shootout.
Akwasi Appiah’s men will be looking to try and repeat their heroics once again, but they will have to battle it out in what looks to be a tougher group than in 2010, with Germany, Portugal and USA to navigate past.
Ghana have displayed consistency while competing in the Africa Cup of Nations, reaching the final four on the last four occasions, but only time will tell if they can reach that stage at the World Cup.
Other African representatives
Other African representatives include the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Algeria and Nigeria, with some having had more favourable draws than others.
Algeria will be making their third appearance in the competition and are not an attractive prospect in the World Cup 2014 betting odds, sitting in a tough group with Belgium, Russia and South Korea.
Cameroon were the first African nation to reach the last eight in 1990, but have since struggled to match this sort of performance level against the elite teams.
With veteran Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o hitting the goal trail in the Premier League, he could provide a route out of Group A, but with the former Barcelona man struggling with injuries as well this term, his absence could be costly in a group containing Brazil, Croatia and Mexico.
The Ivory Coast has appeared at every World Cup since their first in 2006 but have yet to advance out of the group.
Coach Sabri Lamouchi will be hoping that Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba is hungry for success as he has previously failed to deliver on the biggest stage, netting just one goal in each of his two tournaments.
Of all the African nations, it would appear that the draw has been kindest to the Elephants and this is represented as a World Cup 2014 bet.
The final team to consider is Nigeria, who have travelled to the World Cup on four occasions, reaching the round of 16 twice.
Stephen Keshi’s squad enter the tournament as the reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions and will be in a confident mood as they aim to try and find a way past Argentina, Iran and Bosnia and Herzegovina in Group F.
With an increasing number of African players plying their trade in the leagues of Europe, it has without a doubt strengthened the continent’s national sides, and it is only a matter of time before African nations start to reach the latter stages of the World Cup on a more regular basis.