Mr Green CEO Jesper Kärrbrink has predicted a “year of redemption” for English football, but expects Germany and a Kylian Mbappé inspired France to contest the World Cup final.
Kärrbrink, who will play a starring role during Betting on Sports Week (18-21 September), has made a series of predictions for this summer’s tournament in Russia, which concludes in Moscow on Sunday 15 July.
Kärrbrink tipped 19-year-old Mbappé, who he described as “football’s next super scorer”, to win the Golden Boot, with Les Bleus to battle reigning champions Germany for the trophy.
He said: “The drama and the battle between efficiency and artistry, the fight between neighbours and the class of the players for Germany and France could make this to one of the best games ever. Like a Champions League final on steroids.”
Despite predicting an all-European final, Kärrbrink still thinks Lionel Messi will be crowned Player of the Tournament, while he expects countryman Victor Lindelöf to put his Premier League struggles behind him to become the biggest surprise of the World Cup 2018.
“It’s a subjective and impossible category to bet on”, said Kärrbrink, “but it’s still an interesting one to speculate about. He might have struggled at Manchester United, but he has the potential to be a super star defender. I think he will show it this summer.”
The Mr Green leader also had a positive outlook for the chances of England, who were dumped out of Euro 2016 by minnows Iceland – his tip as the ‘surprise advancement’ from a group featuring Messi’s Argentina, Croatia and Nigeria.
“2018 is the year of redemption for English football,” he said. “England has been favourites (in England) since 1966 but never really lived up to the expectations, perhaps with the 2000’s as an exception.
“This year, they have a great team, a strong coach and less pressure. And surely, they cannot repeat the fiasco from 2014. I predict they will reach the semi-final stage.”
Finally, he expects Uruguay’s Fernando Muslera to be picked in goal for the Team of the Tournament, just pipping his other favourite stopper – Keylor Navas of Costa Rica.
Karrbrink could well be reflecting on these predictions when he appears on the CEO Panel discussion during Betting on Sports in September. He will be joined on a star-studded #boscon2018 panel by Betway Group CEO Anthony Werkman, Fortuna Group CEO Per Widerstrom and George Daskalakis, Founder and CEO at Stoiximan and Betano.
He will also be speaking on the CEO Panel at the CasinoBeats Summit, which is co-located with Betting on Sports at Olympia London.