Punters fancy Argentina and Brazil to lift the cup on July 13

PUNTERS in Barnstaple are backing Argentina to lift this summer’s World Cup, according to bookies in the town.

Both Ladbrokes and Coral told the Gazette that the 4-1 second favourites had been heavily backed as the countdown to kick-off came to an end.

Hosts Brazil, who kick off the tournament when they take on Croatia tonight, are also well fancied.

Ladbrokes’ Kevin Pearce said that England had been backed in from 33-1 to 28-1, and that he had seen bets come in for ‘just about every team’.

“Nobody’s betting on Russia!” he said. “Chile have had a few takers at 40-1 and the Belgians have been popular, too.

“We’ve had people from Australia, America, Holland and Italy coming in today, so it shows that even while they’re over here people are wanting to put money on it.”

Matt Bincombe, from Coral on Boutport Street, said on Thursday that was backing favourites Brazil, with just one person having a flutter on England all day.

And the South Americans were also dominating the top scorer market, with Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero piquing punters’ interest.

Brazilians Neymar and Fred – the latter a 20-1 outsider for the golden boot – were also receiving plenty of backing ahead of the first game in Sao Paolo tonight.

England, who are still widely available at around 30-1, kick off their challenge to get their hands on the Jules Rimet trophy on Saturday.