Journalists and writers peered into the crystal ball and watched aghast as it slowly rolled off the table before smashing into smithereens on the floor. Bereft of anything that crucial aid, they were left their own foresight to conjure the following predictions for Brazil 2014.
These predictions are made by different writers / journalists using bettingexpert’s World Cup predictor…
Adam Digby (@Adz77)
I have predicted Brazil to win the World Cup, not because of some overwhelming belief that the Seleção will triumph, but because of their route to the Final. I believe they have what it takes to overcome the teams in their path, and feel that beating them at the Maracanã in the showpiece match would be almost impossible. Standing in their way is the possibility of a Round of 16 encounter with Spain, and should the holders fail to win their Group, that is one match that may prove beyond the hosts. Elsewhere, Argentina and Germany appear to have simple routes to the Semi Final stage, should my predictions pan out, and it is difficult to see any of their prospective opponents causing an upset. With Lionel Messi beginning to deliver his Barcelona form for his national team, the Albiceleste must be considered among the most dangerous sides at the tournament.
The two wild cards among those not already mentioned come from the same Group, and should either Italy or Uruguay find their best form this summer, they could well overcome any of the early favourites. The Azzurri, led by the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli, have the tactical ability to disrupt even the very best teams, while the combination of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez will torment any defence.
Eric Beard (@BeardEric)
I’m going to start with an extremely unpopular opinion: Brazil does not have one of the best five squads at this summer’s World Cup. But before thousands of caipirinhas are thrown in my general direction, that doesn’t mean they can’t win the World Cup. Home soil is a mysterious intangible, one capable of producing miracles (see: England, South Korea, etc…) and creating the most unlikely of triumphs. However, Brazil have already become a favourite after last summer’s demolition of Spain in the Confederations Cup final. While they should have no problems topping their group, their first opponent in the knockout round will either be Spain, the Netherlands, or Chile. Any of the three could spur an upset, but I think Chile will surprise everyone this tournament, at the expense of the Selecão.
The biggest question will be whether or not Spain can continue their phenomenal form, even after a lackluster season for the likes of Xavi and Iniesta. An encounter between Argentina and Belgium seems inevitable, and the side that survives could very well carry on to lifting the cup. If Brazil crash out, Argentina would have the edge in my eyes, even after taking 2010’s Argentina vs. Germany match into consideration. Messi celebrating at the Maracaña? That might be enough for the host nation to shift to another national sport.
Amit Singh (@Think_Football)
It is always difficult to make predictions about who will win the World Cup. But with the bettingexpert World Cup predictor I had a go at it. Whatever the outcome I expect my final four to the be the final four in the World Cup with Brazil, Germany, Spain and Argentina likely to be very strong.
I can only see England getting as far as the quarter-finals as if they finish as runners up in their group they will eventually meet Brazil in the quarter-final stage (the side who beat them back in 2002). Even if they do top their group they’ll end up facing Spain in the quarter finals. Both of these potential outcomes look bleak for England, who will probably take a quarter-final finish.
Brazil are incredibly strong at home as we saw with their Confederations Cup win and if nerves don’t get to them they should be able to lift the trophy on home soil. The players certainly have the ability and it seems difficult to imagine Spain retaining the trophy. Germany and Argentina could also pose a huge threat but Brazil might have enough to go all the way.
Most football fans have uttered the following words many times: “I wish *we* had (insert brilliant player’s name here)…”
Enter Argentina – proud owners of both Messi and Aguero. Delve a little further and you’ll find that they’re also in possession of Mascherano, Zabaleta, DiMaria, Higuain and Tevez. Not a bad little bunch.
While Spain are admittedly superb, they’ve had their day simply because, unlike club football, international teams cannot be bought, therefore cannot sustain greatness over 10 or 12 years. Obviously, host nation Brazil will be more or less guaranteed a place in the semis given that home advantage does count in the World Cup. Meanwhile, as the cliché goes – in England anyhow – you can never discount the Germans.
Like all major football tournaments, the World Cup does throw up the odd surprise package and I’m relying on Nigeria to put a mini-run together to prove this assertion. Ivory Coast should put up a reasonable show too, given that most of their top players play in the best domestic leagues. Expect England to flatter to deceive as normal and potentially bow out at the first hurdle, but take a close look at Belgium, whose major assets also ply their trade in the Premier League. Argentina, however, have made a habit of winning World Cups without necessarily having the best squad and they’re my tip for the top this time around.
Abhisar Gupta (@goonerdesi)
Instead of trying to predict all the results, a task clearly beyond my level of knowledge, I thought it might be interesting to say how I’d like to see the World Cup pan out. This meant starting from the top by picking the winner and filling in the rest of the places.
Of the 32 teams, Argentina excites me the most because of their amazing offensive potential. It is highly unlikely that the word ‘boring’ will be used in any match reports after their games. A final with their bitter rivals and hosts Brazil would be perfect. The result might be harsh on the Seleção but it should be a spectacle for the rest of the world.
Spain has earned the right to be one of the main favourites. And I hope the biggest upset comes in the form of an early exit for the wizards of tiki taka. They’ve been brilliant over the last few years and fully deserve every accolade that’s come their way. But it’s time their hegemony over the world of football was broken, don’t you think?
The sides topping groups B and G could offer the two other semi-finalists. I’d love to see the Dutch and the Germans advance to that stage. Group H probably has the best dark horses with Belgium and Russia having the potential to cause a major upset if things go their way on a given day.
What about Ronaldo and Portugal? Ingerland got any hopes? Asian teams to make their mark? Will Chile be too hot to handle? I really enjoyed tinkering with the World Cup Predictor as the seemingly never ending permutations offer fascinating possibilities. See for yourself…
Peter Sharland (@psharland55)
I said it at the start of qualifying and I’ll say it again, the Germans are going to win this World Cup. They have too much quality all over the pitch and I think that this Spain team is just a touch weaker than the one we saw in Euro 2012. If Joachim Low makes the right team selections then this Germany team could produce something special.
The only real shocks I foresee in the group stages are England, the Netherlands and the Ivory Coast crashing out. With England I just think they won’t be able to find a way past Italy and won’t be able to cope with Suarez and Cavani, I’d loved to be proved wrong though. The Netherlands’ star quality seems to be fading and I doubt they will be able to cope with Chile’s intensity, ditto that for the Ivory Coast and Japan.
Argentina vs Portugal was a really tough one to call but Argentina have more than Messi, Portugal don’t have more than Ronaldo. Brazil will undoubtedly entertain but they will come unstuck against the Germans, as Argentina will against Spain. The final will see a surprisingly one-sided affair, just as we saw in the Confederations Cup final last summer, Germany to win 3-1.
You can make your own World Cup Prediction at bettingexpert and enter the €10,000 competition!
Tomorrow, five bravehearts and myself will contest these findings with irrefutable evidence that we know best. Necks firmly on the line.