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WORLD CUP: Who will rule the world?
Updated 11:10am Friday 13th June 2014 in Sport
England futsal captain, from Seend
Winners: Argentina. It being in South America will help them and they’re due a performance at the World Cup. They’ll score a lot of goals and defend well.
Dark horses: Portugal are a big nation but not many are tipping them and they’ve got players used to playing in that heat. And there’s the Ronaldo factor – he’s the best player in the world at the moment.
Top scorer: I’d like to think Ronaldo or Messi because they’re from my tips but it might be Neymar. He showed his class last season, especially in the Confederations Cup.
England’s chances: If we get through the group stages, we could end up playing someone like Colombia in the last 16 but when we get to the quarter-finals, it’ll be Spain or the Netherlands, and that will be bye-bye for us.
My England XI (4-2-3-1): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Shaw, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge.
Chippenham Town assistant manager and ex-Armenia caretaker boss
Winners: Argentina. Because it’s in Brazil, they’ll want to put in a big performance because the two are such big rivals. They’ve got so much ammunition with the likes of Messi and Aguero.
Dark horses: Belgium have got a very good squad and they’ve been playing well for a while. Playing at a World Cup is different but if they gel, they could go far.
Top scorer: The amount of goals Ronaldo has scored in the last six years or so is ridiculous and he’s a player that performs on the big stage.
England’s chances: I think they will get to the quarter-finals. You shouldn’t underestimate any team but if I’d been asked who I’d want us to play first, I’d have picked Italy, because you might catch them on a bad day. We shouldn’t fear Uruguay or Costa Rica either.
My England XI (4-4-2): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Sterling Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Sturridge, Rooney.
Newport County midfielder, from Chippenham
Winners: I can’t look past Brazil. With the way that they performed at the Confederations Cup, the fact they’re at home and the way that the crowd will respond, they’ve got to be favourites.
Dark horses: Belgium. They don’t have tournament experience but they’ve almost got two strong teams in their squad. With players like Eden Hazard and Vincent Kompany, they should have a chance of going deep.
Top scorer: Neymar or Messi. Both will have the opportunity to score a lot in their groups but if you had to push me, I’d go with Neymar.
England’s chances: They can get to the quarter-finals. The side has got good attacking talent and players like Raheem Sterling can be a threat. If we make it that far, we should be satisfied with that.
My England XI (4-1-2-2-1): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Rooney, Sterling, Lallana, Sturridge
Former Chippenham Town president, who has followed England to every major tournament since Euro 96
Winners: I can’t really see anyone other than Brazil doing it. There’ll be Argentina and Germany too but I think it will be them.
Dark horses: I don’t think England are going to win it but we might get further than people think. If we can get through the group, it’s open season and we might just get to the semi-finals.
Top scorer: If our dear friend (Luis) Suarez recovers, he could score a few. Hopefully he’s not fully fit when he faces us.
England’s chances: As I said, I think we could pull off a few surprises.
My England XI (4-2-3-1): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Barkley, Sterling, Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge.
Frome Town manager
Winners: A South American team because it’s taking place there and I’ll have to go for Brazil.
Dark horses: England. In 1966, Atletico Madrid won La Liga, Real Madrid the European Cup and a team came from behind to win the FA Cup, and I want to believe it’s a sign. England could do well, as long as Roy Hodgson picks the right players for the right games.
Top scorer: It could be Hulk (Brazil). Diego Costa (Spain) will be right up there too but I’m going to go with the Hulk.
England’s chances: We can do well if we get things right. I just hope that we don’t embarrass ourselves though.
My England XI (4-3-2-1): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Barkley, Wilshere, Sterling, Lallana, Sturridge.
Melksham Town manager
Winners: Argentina. A lot of focus will be on (Cristiano) Ronaldo but this could be Messi’s year. Argentina have a habit of pressing the self-destruct button but it’s in their arch-enemy’s country and they’ll want to win even more than if it was in their own.
Dark horses: Not hugely what you’d call dark horses but I’d have to go for Germany. They’ll be well-prepared and do very well.
Top scorer: With Ronaldo winning the European Cup with Real Madrid and the Ballon d’Or, I think Messi will want to prove a point because he hasn’t always delivered for his country on the big stage.
England’s chances: We’ll get through our group and the last 16 draw should be favourable , so we’ll probably get to the quarter-finals – and lose on penalties.
My England XI (4-2-3-1): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge.
Gazette & Herald and Wiltshire Times sports editor
Winners: Argentina. From what looks a much less tough lower half of the draw, they can reach the final at least.
Dark horses: Can the Germans ever be dark horses? Their group has banana skins, but get through and it opens up. Chile could do some damage in Spain and Holland’s group too.
Top scorer: Given his scoring record, I can’t believe that Miroslav Klose is as much as 40/1. Argentina’s Higuain and Aguero worth a shout too.
England’s chances: Second round is par, but if they get that far I think they’ll reach the quarter-finals. They could draw all three group games though.
My England XI (4-2-3-1): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Rooney, Lallana, Sturridge.
Gazette & Herald and Wiltshire Times sports writer
Winners: It has to be Brazil, doesn’t it? They may not have as many stellar names as Spain or Argentina but the squad has both flair and industry from front to back.
Dark horses: It may end up being bad news for England, but I think Uruguay will take a few scalps in Brazil. They boast fearsome firepower, so they could shock any side.
Top scorer: I’d plump for a Uruguay striker – no, not that one. Edinson Cavani has a phenomenal goalscoring record at club level and could fill his boots for his country.
England’s chances: A tough group but if they play to their best, we could well reach the quarter-finals. If not, the tabloids will revolt, Twitter will melt down and we’ll all be safe in the knowledge that it’s Rooney’s fault.
My England XI (4-2-3-1): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Wilshere, Sterling, Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge.
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