Who will win the World Cup 2018 in Russia?
Russia beckons. The world holds its breath. By the end of July, will we be discussing football or human rights? Security or Penalty? I sincerely hope that football is the winner, that new players emerge on a World stage to break through the Messi / Ronaldo debate over who is the best in the World, and that Russia can deliver a World Cup without controversy off the pitch.
Moving on to the pitch, who is going to win this year’s trophy?
The following teams have qualified:
Hosts Russia are joined by defending champions Germany, plus Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Iceland, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia and Uruguay.
I have just completed the highly entertaining Predictor at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/world-cup-2018-wallchart-predictor/ and I can now confidently predict that the Quarterfinals will look like this:
Uruguay v France
Spain v Argentina
Brazil v Belgium
Germany v England
Can you believe it, another QF v Germany. But this time, it is England’s turn to win!
France will beat Uruguay in the most entertaining game of the tournament so far. Spain will beat Argentina who have looked a shadow of their former selves throughout and they limp out and Messi retires again. Belgium beat Brazil as Hazard outshines Neymar and Lukaku edges close to the Golden Boot award. And England beat Germany on penalties!
So the all European semifinals look like this:
France v Belgium
Spain v England
This is getting hard to call. But France implode, Pogba is sent off and Toby Alderweireld scores a VAR goal to win it in extra time, and Belgium are through to their first ever World Cup Final. In the second semifinal, England beat Spain and a nation comes close to internal combustion.
The Belgium v England final is the dourest of games, briefly lit up by the brilliance of Raheem Sterling who poaches two goals in a 2-1 victory and, 52 years after they last won the trophy, football comes home, Frank Skinner is knighted and everyone plays street football for a weekend.
P.S This will never happen! But go and have a go at the predictor, it is fun!!