[Grammar] Italy were the favourites to win the World Cup

kadioguy

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In the LDOCE6, it says:

favourite n.
the team, player etc that is expected to win a race or competition:
Italy were the favourites to win the World Cup.
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Italy is just one team, so why does it use the plural noun favourites?
Why not Italy were the favourite to win the World Cup?

Would you please help me?
Thanks!

PS I also posted the same question on this , but all of your answers are unique to me. Hope we can discuss with each other. Thank you.
 

Rover_KE

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In BE, sports teams are treated as plural.

'Chelsea were beaten by Blackburn Rovers' (though not within living memory, I think).

'The West Indies are expected to win the next Cricket World Cup.'
 
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