World Cup Predictions: Winners, Surprises and England’s Best XI

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It’s here. The World Cup begins tonight and we get the views of the This Is Anfield writers and contributors on who they think will take the plaudits in Brazil. Have a read and share yours in the comments.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, June 2, 2012: England's captain Steven Gerrard in action against Belgium during the International Friendly match at Wembley. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We asked the team for their predictions for the overall winner, runner-up, who will be the “surprise” of the tournament, how far England will get, the top goalscorer, and what their starting XI for England would be.

HENRY JACKSON:

Overall Winners: Brazil
Runners Up: Argentina
Surprise Package: Chile
England: Group Stages
Tournament Top Goalscorer: Higuain

England XI: Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling, Rooney, Sturridge (4-2-3-1).

 

ADAM GRIFFIES:

Winners: Spain
Runners up: Brazil
Surprise package: Colombia (QFs at least)
England: Last 16
Top scorer: Messi

England XI: (4-3-3): Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Jones, Baines; Gerrard; Henderson, Barkley; Sterling, Sturridge, Rooney.

 

JACK LUSBY:

Overall Winners: Germany
Runners Up: Brazil
Surprise Package: Chile
England: Last 16
Tournament Top Goalscorer: Luis Suarez

XI: Hart; Johnson (begrudgingly…), Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard, Henderson; Lallana, Barkley, Sterling; Sturridge.

 

MAX MUNTON:

Overall Winners: Argentina
Runners Up: Brazil
Surprise Package: Switzerland
England: Quarter-finals
Tournament Top Goalscorer: Lionel Messi

England XI (4-1-2-2-1 / 4-3-3): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Barkley, Lallana, Sterling, Sturridge.

 

DAN HOLLAND:

Winners – Argentina
Runners up – Brazil
Surprise – Belgium
England – lose to Brazil in QF
Top Scorer – Sturridge
England XI – Hart; Johnson Jagielka Cahill Baines; Hendo Gerrard Barkley; Sterling Sturridge Chamberlain.

 

MARK PEARSON:

Overall Winners: Brazil
Runners Up: Germany
Surprise Package: Colombia
England: Last 16
Tournament Top Goalscorer: Fred

England XI: Hart; Glen Johnson, Shaw, Cahill, Jones; Gerrard, Wilshere, Henderson, Sterling; Sturridge, Rooney (midfield diamond).

 

AARON CUTLER:

Overall Winners: Argentina
Runners Up: Brazil
Surprise Package: Chile
England: Group Stage
Tournament Top Goalscorer: Higuain

England XI: Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Rooney, Sterling, Sturridge.

 

TOM McMAHON:

Overall Winners: Brazil
Runners Up: Argentina
Surprise Package: Switzerland
England: Quarter Finals
Tournament Top Goalscorer: Lionel Messi

England XI: Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling, Sturridge, Rooney.

 

MATT SPROSTON:

Overall Winners: Argentina
Runners Up: Brazil
Surprise Package: Bosnia
England: Top group then lose in the quarter finals to Spain
Tournament Top Goalscorer: Fred

England XI: Hart, Johnson, Baines, Cahill, Jagielka, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Lallana, Rooney, Sturridge.

 

MATT LADSON:

Overall Winners: Argentina
Runners Up: Brazil
Surprise Package: Chile
England: 2nd in group, out in quarter final
Tournament Top Goalscorer: Messi (hat trick vs Nigeria, Iran or Bosnia gets him halfway there)

England XI: Hart; Johnson, Cahill,Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling; Lambert, Sturridge (midfield diamond).

 

JOSEPH COPELAND:

Overall Winner: Uruguay. Luis Suarez is in the form of his life, and it seems like nothing can stop him. It’s also time for Edinson Cavani to be played as a true forward for his country, not a winger. If the Cavani-Suarez partnership is properly formed, it will be hard to stop this team going forward.
Runner-Up: Germany. More frustration for one of the football richest countries in the world. They can overcome injuries to reach the Final, but that’s where they’ll run out of steam.
Surprise Package: Brazil will not make the Quarterfinals. They have plenty of flair, but the pressure of hosting a World Cup is more than this young group have had to endure and they will lose to the Netherlands in the Round of 16. As a result, the host nation will fall apart with stunned supporters wreaking havoc across the land.
England: I can’t see England getting out of Group D. Uruguay and Italy are better overall squads, and it will show. A win over Costa Rica will not be enough to ease the heat on Roy Hodgson following the early exit.
Tournament Top Goalscorer: This is simple, Luis Suarez. Followed closely by Arjen Robben from Holland and Thomas Muller for Germany.

England XI: Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard (C), Sterling, Wilshere, Milner, Rooney, Sturridge.

 

Read More: Three of the This Is Anfield team share their more in-depth previews and World Cup predictions.

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