With the likes of Portugal, Switzerland and Hungary contesting World Cup Qualification Group B, the race to the World Cup in Russia from this particular group has all the makings of being a fascinating battle.

Group B may be a very difficult one to call, but we're here to give you the best live odds comparison, betting tips and analysis, and try to predict who will make it to the World Cup finals in two years' time.

We may only be one round of fixtures in, but we have already seen arguably the biggest shock of qualifying so far. Last week, Fernando Santos' Portugal, who are fresh off the back of winning the European Championship in France in the summer, fell to a shock 2-0 defeat to Switzerland at St. Jacob-Park.

First-half strikes from Breel Embolo and Admir Mehmedi were enough to secure a surprise 2-0 win for the Swiss, which put them top of the table in the process.

However, despite Portugal's disappointing defeat in Basel, Bet365 have them and Vladimir Petkovic's side joint favourites (at 10/11) to win the group. Of course, both can't come out on top, so who will win the race to No. 1 spot in Group B?

In France during the summer, Santos' troops managed to find a way to grind out a result in pretty much every match they were involved in.

Incredibly, after drawing all three group games, Portugal found themselves through to the knockout stages with just three points, due to the extension of the competition meaning the best third-placed nations would progress.

Even more incredibly, Portugal's 2-0 win over Chris Coleman's Wales at the semi-final stage was their only win in 90 minutes during the entire tournament. Even when the odds were firmly stacked against them in the final – losing their influential captain Cristiano Ronaldo through injury early on – the Portuguese still found a way to win.

We believe all the experience they gained during Euro 2016 will stand them in good stead in World Cup qualification. Let's face it, although not many people would have envisioned Portugal losing to Switzerland in their opener, these things do happen, and the Swiss are a very capable outfit.

Nevertheless, we're predicting the 2016 European champions to bounce back and still prevail in Group B. Like we said, Bet365 have Santos' men as the joint favourites, and we believe their betting odds of 10/11 are certainly worth having a punt on.

Portugal may already be three points adrift, but with games against the likes of Andorra, Faroe Islands and Latvia on the horizon, the Portuguese should gain back those dropped points with relative ease.

Portugal host Switzerland in October next year for the final game of the group. By then, we truly believe these two will have the top two places in Group B all sewn up.

With Portugal coming out on top, we advise you to take up BetVictor's 1/10 for Switzerland to secure a top two finish. The odds may be short, but we can't see anyone from Andorra, Faroe Islands or Latvia standing in their way.

Coral have the Swiss evens to trump Portugal to top spot, but we can see the Euro 2016 winners putting their defeat in Basel to one side by qualifying for Russia in first place, with Switzerland trailing them in second.


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