According to the latest betting, Brazil are the favourites to win the World Cup for what would be a record sixth time, followed by their South American neighbours and rivals, Argentina, and then the defending champions France and England.
Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia are the rank outsiders.
That does not necessarily mean that these teams necessarily have the best coaches. All the favoured teams are gifted with top players, most of whom play their trade in the major European leagues, and many of them appear regularly in the Champions League, the elite club competition.
In fact, some of the best coaches are in charge of teams that will do well to get out of their World Cup group even. For example, Aliou Cissé became the first African to win the African Cup of Nations with Senegal earlier this year, but they are 5/1 just to win their group.
Meanwhile, many England fans would argue that Gareth Southgate is not a particularly good coach, is too conservative and has shown a blind loyalty to some players regardless of form. They may be among the favourites, but that is in spite, and not because of him.
Having a good coach can help though.
In Russia four years ago, Didier Deschamps became one the third man to win the World Cup both as a captain and a manager. Although injuries to key players, combined with some behind the scenes issues, have hindered France’s chances this time, they are still expected to go deep in the tournament. This may be his last World Cup but he could still go out on a high.
Arguably, there is no more high pressure job in football than to be boss of the Brazilian national team because of the weight of expectation that goes with the job, especially at a World Cup.
Tite has shown that he may be up for the job better than some of his recent predecessors like Luiz Felipe Scolari and Dunga, by having overseen 58 wins and 13 draws in 76 matches since he took charge in 2016. If they justify their favourite status, he can cement his legacy as one of the best coaches in the world.
The team most likely to stop them, at least as far as the bookmakers are concerned are their deadly rivals Argentina. Their coach is Lionel Scaloni and it was he who ended Lionel Messi’s long international drought when it comes to tournament success, when they won the Copa América last year, beating Brazil in the final.
Spain have enjoyed something of a renaissance under Luis Enrique, one of those players who appeared for both Real Madrid and Barcelona. They narrowed missed out in a place in the finals of the Euros last year and have since performed well in the Nations League. Being drawn in the Group of Death with Germany does not help, but they are still even money to progress.
The Germans are now managed by Hansi Flick who has taken over from long standing boss Joachim Löw, the mastermind behind their 2014 World Cup success. He has inherited a team in transition but a bet on the World Cup success should not be underestimated and there is a sense that their current odds could be generous.
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