Who do you back for the World Cup?

Who do you fancy?
Who do you fancy?
As bad as our season has been, I’ll still miss the football which is why it’s a good job there is a World Cup just around the corner.

Why? Firstly because it gives us something to talk about and secondly because it gives me something to carry on writing about as I have a sneaking suspicion that the summer will be very quiet at St James’ Park.

I canโ€™t wait till the competition starts if I’m being honest. That’s why I’ve previewed some of the favourites for the competition. At this current moment in time the host nation are the favourites. If you check http://static.williamhill.com/world-cup-2014/betting/winner-odds/, odds for Brazil are currently 10/3 to win the whole thing.

Germany and Argentina are joint second favourites at 9/2 with defending champions Spain ranked at 11/2. Belgium are 14/1, Holland 16/1, England are 18/1 with Italy placed at 20/1. I personally think the winners will come any of those mentioned so letโ€™s take a look at what they are about.

Brazil



The hype started when they beat Spain 3-0 in the Confederations Cup and with a squad packed with quality playing on home soil you can see why they are being tagged as favourites. A lot of their key players ply their trade in Europe so there is an understanding of how the stronger teams from Europe are likely to play and they face the physical side of things more often than perhaps they have done previously.

Neymar has the potential to be one of the best players on the planet but things haven’t got off to a good start for him at Barcelona and he looks a little bit lightweight for the European game. However his Brazil record speaks for itself with 30 goals in 47 appearances so he’s likely to be the guy they rely on for the bulk of their goals.

Argentina

The Argies are always in with a shout at major tournaments and they have one of the best players in the world at their disposal. Lionel Messi has been outstanding over the years for Barcelona but he has never hit those heights for Argentina scoring 37 times in his 83 caps. Not too shabby from the Captain but still a far cry from the 243 goals in 275 appearances he’s managed for Barca.

Spain

The strength of Spain is in the team itself and the way they play although being blessed with superb talent always helps. The defending champions have been a dominant force in recent years although there is a feeling that their star is on the wane. Their midfield engine room of Xavi and Iniesta isn’t getting any younger but they do still have some sublime options in the middle of the park like Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabregas to name just two.

Up front they may struggle. Fernando Torres has been named in their provisional 30-man squad which is a surprise while their record scorer, David Villa, will probably make his last appearance at a World Cup if he impresses enough. The other options are Alvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente and Chelsea-bound Diego Costa, none of whom have been prolific at international level.

Belgium

They could go far in this tournament given the players at their disposal. In goal they have a choice of Simon Mingolet or Thibaut Cortois, both of who have had excellent seasons. In defence they have high quality with the likes of Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderwiereld, a strong midfield with the strength of Marouane Fellaini mixed with the flair and pace of Eden Hazard and Kevin Mirallas and power up front with Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke. If Marc Wilmots gets it right they could be a feature in the later rounds of the competition.

Holland

Runners up last time out, if Holland are to go anywhere near emulating that feat they’ll need big performances from their big players. Robin van Persie, as Captain and top scorer at international level, will need to find his shooting boots while Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder will need to be at the top of their game. However at the back they look weak.

England

First things first are getting out of the group. Roy Hodgson raised a few eyebrows with his decision not to take Ashley Cole to Brazil but Leighton Baines has had the better season. However, should anything happen to Baines then it will be up to Luke Shaw to deputise at a very young age.

Up front Wayne Rooney has rarely produced at a World Cup and is yet to register a goal in the competition which ratchets up the pressure on Daniel Sturridge, who has had a great season to be fair. I can’t see the Three Lions going much further than the Quarter Final with either Ivory Coast, Greece, Japan or Colombia lined up as second round opponents should they progress.

Italy

The Azzurri are in the same group as England and indeed eliminated them in the last European Championships. A spine made up of Buffon, Chiellini, Pirlo and Balotelli is not too shabby but it’s the gaps around them than should concern the Italians. Marco Verratti has been excellent for PSG this term allaying some fears about taking a player so young to such a big tournament but it will once again be how that domestic form can translate on the international stage.

So that is my quick round up of the favourites for the World Cup. There will always be a surprise package or two thrown in (anyone remember Greece, or Croatia?) so it’s important to remember that, but it’s also worth remembering that these sides are ranked more favourably for a reason.

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

693 thoughts on “Who do you back for the World Cup?

  1. lol poor Ya Ya. had a cake bought for him on the plane to Qatar but when he got there his bosses didnt sing happy birthday poor lad…:razz:

    Yaya is upset. said his agent. He was expecting the Staff to present a Fireman Sam cake with magical relighting candles so everyone could have fun while he blew them out, over and over again. He even wore his new Birthday socks and jumper. he feels let down…he may now leave ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

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  2. The way I see it I think we need at least 3 wingers ( especially if Benny goes) I’m not looking at him as a starter but he has always looked a good player when I’ve seen him and he would be a good addition to the squad. Obertan offers nothing as he can’t pass, shoot, dribble or even use his pace. I think Albrighton could do a job for us on a free.

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  3. Apparently it’s not about the money for Yaya….well I got a card signed by my bossess and colleagues and a few slaps on the back in work a few weeks ago, maybe I can trade him for the 250k per week?

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  4. Colback is distinctly average, if we do get him I hope it’s as a squad player and not as “a purple”, imo he’s not much better(if at all) than Gosling…who’s ended up at erm, Bournemouth ๐Ÿ™„

    Newkie…I put ยฃ250k in your card, did you not get it? oh and the slaps on the back were because your bosses put a “hit me” sign on your back ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  5. I hope Perez doesn’t turn out to be as poor as Amalfitano.

    Although for all we know he was a decent player and he got #pardewed like many others.

    Colback is ok. He’s Pardew’s type of player, depends what we pay for him. Bit of a slap in the face though considering he showed the Toon fans the middle finger and bragged about 3-0.

    Oblong

    I’d snap up Marc Albrighton. He’s better than any winger we have now.

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  6. JJ…Colback is out of contract I think, if by a “Pardew player” you mean average, then yep agree but it’s more a less a straight swap for Gosling I reckon so not really strengthening us at all…and as I said if he’s being signed(if he is signed) as a starter then another thrilling season awaits ๐Ÿ™„ he’s a squad player at best.

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  7. The Sun reckons Lescott is willing to take a 50% pay cut to stay in PL. That would put him on around 45k pw. I know he’s a 30 plus player but we should defo be getting him for that like!. Colo got a new contract at 30 so why not get Lescott in for 2-3 seasons and give Good and Streete time to develop and learn from Lescott too. He’s a good communicator as well which is something our defence is missing.

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  8. So Shola Ameobi ends his career with us with 79 goals in 219 starts.
    Not bad eh ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  9. Richie-250k in my card but I still had to pay for postage and packaging on receipt of the letter you tight bugger!

    Not impressed by Colback, I doubt we’d go for Lescott as we already have some mega wages in defence with Colo, Tayls and Mbiwa. I would be quite happy to swap him for taylor though, but who would take him?

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  10. I don’t expect Colback to pull up trees or get us 15 goals a season from midfield. But I reckon he’d be a solid player for us. I’d prefer Holtby, but I do think Colback is better than Gosling – who hasn’t really got going again since his injury problems.
    I think Pardew is looking to replace Jonas on that left of centre midfield and the work rate he provided the team. We need flair and creative players, but a player like Colback doing the dirty stuff will allow them the freedom to play. It’s not the signing that’s gonna get me excited this season, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good signing.

    What worries me more is the CFs we’ve been linked with!.

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  11. Sharpy…Ability wise I don’t think he’s any better than Gosling but he’s had the advantage of more game time, but if he’s the level of quality we are after as a starting 11(if we even want him) then next season has every chance of being worse than this one he is average on his good days, squad player then fine but anything more than that is too good for him…imo of course ๐Ÿ˜‰

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