With an avalanche of attacking talent, Argentina has taken over from Brazil as the team playing the most beautiful football. Whether that wins them the World Cup remains to be seen, but fans crammed in here will only take yes for an answer. Odds of winning: 4 to 1.
WHERE TO WATCH Sky Ranch (2473 Dufferin, 416-787-0491)
Argentinian hot spot with two massive televisions.
WHAT TO DRINK Bodega Lurton Pinot Gris ($8.95, 750 ml, 13 per cent alcohol)
Redolent of summer fruit, this Alsace-style white feels fresh on the tongue and builds to a winning conclusion. Goooaaalll!
With gap-toothed genius Ronaldo back in form, Brazil will be looking to avenge their final defeat in 1998. Odds of winning: 13 to 2
WHERE TO WATCH Cervejaria (842 College, 416-588-0162)
Will Brazilian fans spill out of Cervejaria onto College for a massive street party at the unpleasant hour of 7 am?.
WHAT TO DRINK Cachasa ($19.75, 700ml, 40 per cent)
A potent potable made from sugar cane, this high-proof liqueur is the key ingredient in Caipirinha, a mojito-like cocktail.
Even without David Beckham's broken foot and with a list of injuries to rival the Leafs', England is in tough in the Group Of Death. The game of the first round is the 7:30 am, June 7 battle between England and hated rivals Argentina. Odds of winning: 9 to 1.
WHERE TO WATCH Duke of Gloucester (649 Yonge, 416-961-9704)
Ye Olde Pub, upholstered in velvet brocade, has a great juke box crammed with Brit-band nuggets from the 80s, but soccer will be the thing come World Cup. Arrive early and be prepared to sing. .
WHAT TO DRINK Morland's Old Speckled Hen ($2.75, 500 ml, 5.2 per cent)
With its Jack Daniels hue and Jack-like bottle, this ale has a smooth, caramel kick. More mellow than the super-brews UK footie fans traditionally knock back.
1998's champions have to be this year's favourites, led by the footballing magic of midfielder Zinedine Zidane and the strike force of Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet. Barring an upset, you can bet on Les Bleus. Odds of winning: 4 to 1.
WHERE TO WATCH Le Saint Tropez (315 King West, 416-591-3600)
Swanky French bistro on the King West strip is set for soccer. Watch out for theatre-going tourists.
WHAT TO DRINK Pernod ($23.25, 750 ml, 40 per cent)
Picasso's favourite tipple, this anise liqueur is a cousin to absinthe. Drink it on the rocks with a splash of water or orange juice.
As co-hosts, Korea has home-field advantage but faces intense pressure from fans to at least progress through the first round. Poland, Portugal and the U.S.A. will provide stiff competition. Odds of winning: 150 to 1.
WHERE TO WATCH Clinton's (693 Bloor West, 416-535-9541)
What better place to watch the action than in a karaoke bar? .
WHAT TO DRINK OB (335 ml, 4.5 per cent)
Not available at the LCBO, this Canadian-style lager is sold in bars along Bloor West's Koreatown. Bland, pale yellow, watery.
The Azzurri are still smarting after the last-minute loss of Euro 2000 to France, so only a trip to the finals will do here, with marksman Christian Vieri leading the charge. Odds of winning: 5 to 1.
WHERE TO WATCH Il Gatto Nero (720 College, 416-536-3132)
High stools and high ceilings at a new location just a block west from the old spot add a little glitz to the soccer spectacle. Word is, management has bought a new big-screen TV just for the World Cup. .
WHAT TO DRINK Nastro Azzurro ($3.20, 330 ml, 5.2 per cent)
Smelling of grassy hops, this light Pilsner makes a crisp and lively all-game quaff.
If they don't self-destruct before the tournament begins, the Olympic-gold-medal-winning Super Eagles could be a surprise side of the World Cup, with genuine stars in Kanu and Jay Jay Okocha. Odds of winning: 100 to 1
WHERE TO WATCH Nigerian Restaurant (385 Keele, 416-604-3924)
Small hole in the wall is big on food and football.
WHAT TO DRINK Castle Lager ($1.75, 450 ml, 5 per cent)
Not a Nigerian beer - in fact, Castle sponsors the South African team - but it's the only African beer available through the LCBO. Oh yeah, and this piss-poor swill won't win any competitions. One-word comment: "Stinks!"
Portugal lit up Euro 2000 with their dynamic, flashy play. Led by Real Madrid winger Luis Figo, Portugal's young team will look to make the same impression in Korea and Japan. The highly partisan fans here will accept no less. Odds of winning: 12 to 1.
WHERE TO WATCH Acores Contenant Soccer Club (1576 Dundas West, 416-516-7799)
Trad and smoky spot fills up with devotees.
WHAT TO DRINK Cerveja Sagres ($8.75, 6-pack, 5.1 per cent) This light, pale-coloured lager has a sweet, tart aftertaste.