Gabriel Jesus' Injury Could be Bad News for Brazil Backers
The extent of striker Gabriel Jesus' injury remains a little vague, with both Manchester City and Selecao fans nervously awaiting further news on the 20-year-old's fitness. The lively forward has been pivotal for both sides over the past 12 months and his absence is far from ideal; it could also negatively affect his chances of playing at Russia 2018. With many punters having already backed Brazil for the competition, it is a potentially worrying development.
Jesus netted eight times in 18 appearances for Manchester City and has been an integral part of Pep Guardiola's side's all-conquering start to the season. The Citizens sit top of the Premier League and remain unbeaten domestically in over 30 matches and have also made it through to the knockout round of the Champions League.
Brazil named early World Cup favourites
Brazil qualified for the World Cup 2018 with ease and were the first team to secure their place in Russia. The striker netted seven times in ten appearances for Tite's side who topped the South American group after taking 41 points from 18 fixtures. As a result, they were quickly installed as favourites for the tournament which gets underway on June 14th in Moscow.
Gabriel Jesus' lay-off is still unknown with Pep Guardiola speculating that he may not feature until at least the end of February although medical staff have suggested that this may be a little optimistic. A ligament tear could result in months on the sidelines and he may arrive at the World Cup having barely played a full 90 minutes during the first half of 2018. Brazil have enviable strength in depth across the park but they appear to be a little short up front and its the sole area of concern for Selecao fans. 2017 Samba Gold winner Neymar is likely to steal the majority of the headlines but Gabriel Jesus could be key to their chances of making it into the latter stages of the competition.
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Brazil are currently 5/1 favourites for the tournament, fractionally ahead of the both France and Germany in the betting, with Spain and Argentina completing the top five most-fancied sides to pick up the Jules Rimet trophy. As we move closer to the start of the 2018 World Cup, bettors can browse of a number of alternative markets including top goalscorer, to reach the final. Some bookmakers such as William Hill have gone even further and offered odds on, for example, top South American team; punters can read the full review here for the full details. With a potential $300 for all new customers, this is the ideal way keep an interest throughout the competition.
Tite's side remain prominent at the top of the market and whilst Gabriel Jesus is likely to return to fitness in time for the World Cup, the lack of potential warm-up games could be an issue for Selecao backers. The Samba Boys are a gifted side who are blessed with creativity and they are likely to require Jesus' instinct and finishing ability if they are to justify their short-price in Russia.