The Wolf’s Guide to FIFA World Cup 2018

The Wolf has every angle of Russia 2018 covered. From previews and betting tips to history and stadiums, make The Wolf’s guide your home for Russia 2018.

When does the 2018 World Cup kick off?

In Russia from June 14th  – July 15th, 2018

The most anticipated football competition on the global calendar is the FIFA World Cup, which will take place for the 21st time this year in Russia, beginning on Thursday 14th June and coming to its conclusion at the final on Sunday 15th July.

The final 32 countries will play 3 group matches apiece before advancing to the finals. There are 8 groups of 4 teams, who will play in 11 cities across Russia in 12 different venues, with the final taking place at the 81,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

The first of the FIFA World Cup Winners was Uruguay, who were also the hosts of the inaugural tournament back in 1930. Just 13 nations took part that year, with the number bumped up to 16 for the 1934 soccer World Cup. This structure stayed in place until 1982 when the number was increased to 24. In 1998 the number of competing teams increased again to 32, where it has remained since.

*WHAT: The 2018 FIFA World Cup – 21st Edition
*WHEN: June 14th – July 15th, 2018
*WHERE: Russia (11 different cities and 12 different venues)
*WHO: 32 countries teams competing
*HOW: 64 football matches

2018 FIFA World Cup Groups Draw -
Soccer World Cup Teams

The World Cup 2018 tournament will see 20 teams returning after competing in 2014, while Panama and Iceland will be making the debut at the football World Cup.

The returning sides are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Croatia, England, France, defending champions Germany, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, host nation Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Uruguay.

The remaining 12 sides are Denmark, Egypt, Iceland, Morocco, Panama, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sweden and Tunisia.

FIFA World Cup Winners

Brazil has won the most Cups with 5, followed by Germany (including West Germany) and Italy who both have 4. Argentina and Uruguay have won twice while England, France and Spain all have a title apiece.

Year Host Country Winner Runner-Up Score Teams
1930 Uruguay Uruguay Argentina 4-2 13
1934 Italy Italy Czechoslovakia 2-1 (E.T.) 16
1938 France Italy Hungary 4-2 15
1942 No World Cup staged due to World War II
1946 No World Cup staged due to World War II
1950 Brazil Uruguay Brazil 2-1 13
1954 Switzerland West Germany Hungary 3-2 16
1958 Sweden Brazil Sweden 5-2 16
1962 Chile Brazil Czechoslovakia 3-1 16
1966 England England West Germany 4-2 (E.T.) 16
1970 Mexico Brazil Italy 4-1 16
1974 West Germany West Germany Netherlands 2-1 16
1978 Argentina Argentina Netherlands 3-1 (E.T.) 16
1982 Spain Italy West Germany 3-1 24
1986 Mexico Argentina West Germany 3-2 24
1990 Italy West Germany Argentina 1-0 24
1994 United States Brazil Italy 0-0 (3-2 Pens) 24
1998 France France Brazil 3-0 32
2002 South Korea & Japan Brazil Germany 2-0 32
2006 Germany Italy France 1-1 (5-3 Pens) 32
2010 South Africa Spain Netherlands 1-0 (E.T.) 32
2014 Brazil Germany Argentina 1-0 (E.T.) 32
1938 Austria withdrew from the tournament before it began.
1950 There was no official final. The top 4 sides after group matches played each other once, Turkey and Scotland withdrew from the tournament before it began. France were called up but withdrew also, along with India.
World Cup Betting

Betting markets for the 2018 FIFA World Cup are currently open for all matches, while options for player awards, such as the Golden Boot for highest goal scorer, Golden Glove for the best keeper and Bolden Ball awarded to the player of the tournament. Check out our guide to betting on the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

FIFA World Cup Odds

In the early years, host nations more often than not reached the final, however that feat has not happened in any of the last 4 World Cups. Defending champions Germany and Brazil will be joined by France and Spain as the genuine heavyweight contenders with a host of nations lining up right on their tails. The 2018 FIFA World Cup is set to be an entertaining, exciting and enthralling tournament. Click here see the latest Soccer World Cup Odds at William Hill.