Sportsthoughts (105) – World Cup predictions!

It’s here! Forget FIFA corruption, criticism of Brazil’s preparations, England’s sniffiness about the tropical location of Manau, social unrest, injury scares. It’s football, football, football!

I put my predictions together for a competition amongst a few friends, and this is what I came up with.

Winners: Brazil – home advantage, strong defence and midfield, Neymar.

Finalists: Spain – still the best midfield in the world, but can their pressing and possession game beat Brazil in the heat? Maybe. I was tempted to have them as winners.

3rd: Argentina. Could just as easily be winners. Attack of Messi, Aguero, Lavezzi, di Maria and Higuain is awesome on paper. Can it work and can they defend?

4th: Germany. Exciting players, brilliant counter attackers. Muller, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Goetze, Kroos, Lahm. You know, they could win it. But the heat, man….

Outsiders:

Holland, if they can get out of their group against Spain and Chile, with a possible last 16 tie against Brazil.

Chile, also in that group. Known to cause Brazil problems.

Uruguay. Suarez (if fit) and Cavani and good ol’ Forlan. Goals on tap.

Belgium. Some really high quality players – Kompany, Hazard, Witsel, et al – mostly located in English Premiership, so they could be our our default team if England go out early.

And what of Eng-er-land? I’m feeling quite confident about getting out of the group, even though we have Italy and Uruguay with us. There’s a youthful, pacey, optimistic air about the team all of a sudden, with the success of Liverpool in the Premier League at the core of it. Sturridge, Sterling, Henderson along with Johnson and Stevie G in his new quarterback role. Then we have Rooney up for it, Adam Lallana’s silky skills and Jack Wilshere fit again and pressing for a starting place. And the ever-reliable James Milner in the equation. Joe Hart in goal is OK. Defence is the worry. Baines-Jagielka-Cahill-Johnson is a decent Premier League line up. But is it world class? We shall see.

In my prediction I have England topping the group, beating Cote D’Ivoire in the last 16 then falling to Spain in the quarters. That would be standard. Can’t really see us doing better. And there is a real risk that we won’t get out of the group.

But I’m hopeful for England and even more hopeful for football as a whole. Some really exciting teams and players. Sit back and enjoy!

 

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love outside work: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. And anything else that I happen to think is worth writing about!
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18 Responses to Sportsthoughts (105) – World Cup predictions!

  1. Yeah! I’m excited to see how it turns out!

    • John S says:

      The best sport!

      • It’s interesting how sports evoke spirit.
        My N loves boxing. There’s been some big deal fights recently.
        Is boxing a popular sport in England?

      • John S says:

        Yes, but the big fights are now only shown on Sky box office, so you have to have digital and then pay extra. Unlike the 70s when they were all on the BBC and the family watched them. So they are lucrative, but marginal. I never watch them now, but could reel off a history of fights from the old days.

      • I hope Football and Rugby don’t go that way!

      • John S says:

        They won’t. They are too big. The Government would act.

      • “LOL”
        I do agree “Boxing” has moved into an elite world.
        Have you heard/ followed any of the Sterling/NBA insanity?
        Makes me think basketball is moving in that direction.

      • John S says:

        No, we don’t get much info on basketball in the UK. It’s out there on the internet obviously; but football, rugby, cycling and cricket are enough for me. Don’t even blog on latter as I’ve lost touch with the details.

      • Okay! Now I’m watching the the World Cup. FIFA, right?
        Well, just checking, and of course I’m rooting for England! YAY!!!!

      • John S says:

        England v Italy tonight.11pm our time so 6pm yours?

      • Yeah!
        This is crazy! We went for a family dinner last night….. to an Italian restaurant in Little Italy.The place & patio were packed with early diners, all watching the game.
        I told the waitress I was rooting for England.
        She said, “I wouldn’t say that, too, loud in here.” “LOL”
        Needless to say when the game was over, half naked men were running in the street with Italian flags.
        You’d have thought they won the cup!

      • John S says:

        That was brave! Yes, the italians are passionate about their football and the team knows how to do well in World Cups. Pedigree.

  2. DyingNote says:

    I’m making it a Spain v/s Germany final and in a small miracle, Germany winning. Anyway, like many others I’m just out to have a good time.

    • John S says:

      Two great teams but would be unprecedented to have no South American team in a final in the Americas. But like you say, it’s just to enjoy.

  3. dc says:

    france will do well;don’t fancy holland to get out of their group.
    argentina in the final i reckon.
    spain best bet for europe.
    belgium no better than england.
    can Brazil really win with a QPR reject in goal?
    can’t wait to find out…

  4. John S says:

    Yeah, I thought about France after writing the blog. Couldn’t be bothered to change it. So maybe they’ll win! No, but they have some very good young players, maybe more united than recent French teams. Argentina clearly a prospect for the final. I had Spain knocking them out in the semis. Close call.

  5. dc says:

    can i swap my comments about spain and holland please?

    • John S says:

      It ain’t over ’til it’s over…

      But it may well set us up for Brazil v Spain in last 16. Odds on Costa sneaking the winner?

      Now that would be a story.

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