Dream Team World Cup is live and one of the very first things you’ll need to consider before selecting your XI is which teams will be in the best shape in Qatar.
The logic is simple: the better a team performs, the more likely they are to score goals and keep clean sheets, meaning plenty of Dream Team points.
So who are the favourites to lift the prestigious trophy on December 18th?
The South American giants are favourites with the bookies with Brazil generally priced at 4/1 and Argentina at 11/2.
Tite’s side have won their last seven games in row, scoring 26 goals and conceding just two.
The Selecao have only lost one game in the last two years and eleven months and their attacking pedigree is virtually unmatched on the world stage.
With the likes of Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Raphinha and Richarlison having impressed on the international stage so convincingly in recent times, quality forwards like Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino may not even make the squad.
Argentina are widely fancied because, as reigning Copa America champions, they easily defeated Euro 2020 winners Italy in the first ever Finalissima.
Lionel Scaloni’s men haven’t tasted defeat in over three years and while the squad may not be as star-studded as previous generations, they are as galvanised and disciplined as they have been in years.
The Albiceleste will once again be heavily dependent on the brilliance of Lionel Messi, who has recaptured something close to his best form this season at the age of 35.
Argentina’s iconic No10 has scored 19 goals in his last 22 international appearances – he bagged five in one game against Estonia earlier this year to send out something of a warning to the world’s defenders.
France are third favourites, closely followed by England, though both teams have suffered disappointing results this year.
The defending world champions have just won of their last six games, a run that includes three defeats.
Les Bleus will also be without injured absentees N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba, two midfielders who have been regulars during Didier Deschamps’ reign.
Similarly, the Three Lions have lost to Hungary twice this year and went five games without a goal from open play before an entertaining 3-3 draw with Germany at Wembley in their last outing.
However, France and England both boast talented squads that have performed well in recent major tournaments.
Spain and Germany are next in line according to the bookmakers though again, both sides have found wins harder to come by than they would have liked this year.
What may surprise some casual fans is that Netherlands (12/1) are shorter odds than Portugal (14/1) and Belgium (16/1).
Louis van Gaal has done a good job at the helm of the Oranje so far, registering two wins over Belgium and a 4-2 victory over an organised Denmark side this year.
Memphis Depay has scored 21 international goals in the last two years and should be a popular selection in Dream Team World Cup, despite the fact he’s not getting many minutes for Barcelona this season.
If you’re looking for a dark horse then Denmark may fit the bill.
No European team earned more points when qualifying for the tournament and they beat France home and away in the Nations League earlier this year.
As luck would have it, they’ve been drawn alongside Kylian Mbappe and co in Group D and will secretly fancy their chances of causing an upset or two in Qatar.
Croatia, Uruguay and Senegal follow in the odds with the rest of the participants all 100/1 or more.
So what can we gauge from this overlook?
Dream Team World Cup bosses should definitely be thinking of backing at least two assets each from Brazil and Argentina – although be aware that neither have faced many European opponents recently.
It may not be wise to overinvest in the likes of France and Germany – perhaps England too although Gareth Southgate’s team have been gifted a relatively friendly group.
You should probably give appropriate consideration to both Netherlands and Denmark as both nations should offer decent value for money if you do a bit of research.
Remember, you can make as many changes to your XI as you want before the tournament gets underway so there’s no reason to shy away from getting involved right now!