Final 23-man squads for the World Cup must be announced by June 4. Depending on the form of injured players, replacements can be made until 24 hours before their opening game.
The 32 teams have until May 14 to name their 35-man preliminary squads, and final 23-man rosters must be ready by June 4. Replacements can be made until 24 hours before their World Cup debut. The competition begins June 14. Let’s break down the latest news with some updated betting odds as you ponder your World Cup picks.
Germany: Boateng a Major Doubt for Cup
Bayern Munich and Germany rock-solid defender Jerome Boateng will miss the rest of the domestic season, including the German Cup final from May 19, after picking up a thigh injury in Bayern Munich’s first-leg Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid. He was substituted in the 34th minute into the first half and reports indicate he could return to action in about six weeks. Boateng vowed to fight for his World Cup place and return to action sooner than expected. In case he won’t make it, teammate and substitute Niklas Sule is ready to take his spot. Meanwhile, Gladbach superstar Lars Stindl has been ruled out of the World Cup after being diagnosed with capsule and ligament damage. Joachim Low not only he retains interest in Dortmund’s Marco Reus and Mario Gotze ahead of Germany’s World Cup title defense, but he should really consider calling them after this terrible news.
Germany Specials: To reach the final at +260 with Betfair.
Brazil: Gabriel Jesus or Roberto Firmino
Both players are enjoying a brilliant season with their clubs, with Gabriel Jesus winning the Premier League with Manchester City, and Roberto Firmino qualifying in the Champions League final with Liverpool, so both of them will make the cut and travel to Russia for the World Cup. The question is who will appear in the starting XI in Russia. Jesus is the projected starter this summer as Tite, Brazil’s coach, will try to use a traditional striker for tactical reasons and give more space to Neymar and Willian on the wings. Until recently the Brazilian fans were questioning why Firmino is even the squad, as he never played for local Brazilian club, but right now after watching him performing under Jurgen Klopp they are trying to find out who’s better. One thing is for sure, Brazil needs both of them to be in great form for the World Cup as they are not rivals and they have the same dream, to win the World Cup trophy.
Brazil Specials: Top South American Team at +138 with BetVictor.
- Belgium and Manchester United superstar Romelu Lukaku picked up an ankle injury in the Red Devils' victory against Arsenal, being replaced with Marcus Rashford. Jose Mourinho hopes the injury is not serious and Lukaku will help United to win the FA Cup and May 19. He faces a race against time to be 100% fit for the World Cup in June.
- Chelsea and England defender Gary Cahill’s poor season has put his World Cup dreams in jeopardy, being left outside the squad for England’s recent friendly matches against Italy and the Netherlands. He remains optimistic and refuse to give up hope after helping Chelsea to qualify in the FA Cup final.