Is it coming home?

At Your Lead Machine, we love our football… mainly everyone, apart from Maddie. She’s more into Quidditch, but that’s a story for another day. With the greatest festival of football on the horizon to start once again in Qatar on Sunday, we wanted to share our thoughts on how the tournament will pan out and share some predictions.  

Let’s start with this year’s favourites.  

We have Brazil, Argentina and then it could be anyone’s. Brazil possesses the best squad on paper with names such as Neymar and Vinicius JR, who will provide the attacking flare but also a solid base with experienced heads such as Casemiro, Thiago Silva and Alisson in goal. If they perform to the level they are predicted to, we could be in for a very exciting World Cup.  

Everyone’s second favourite nation, could they secure a 6th record trophy and give us all a taste of Joga Bonito?  

Stopping them doing this will be their fierce rivals and neighbours Argentina. Led by Lionel Messi, could he finally secure the missing piece in his trophy cabinet?  

Leo will be joined by a tenacious and resilient side. Showcasing some exciting attacking talents in Lautaro Martinez, Dybala and Di Maria. They don’t have the depth in the squad that Brazil has, but have a serious winning spirit under Scaloni and beat Brazil in the most recent Copa America final. 

The rest?  

Well, the chasing pack are formed of all European nations. France – the reigning champions, are without the midfield pivot of both Pogba and Kante, but still have the attacking attributes that Benzema, Mbappe, Griezmann and co possess.  

Spain? Well certainly they will probably have more than 65% possession every game, but who’s going to put the ball in the net? They have taken Morata and can be their goal scorer, but no one ever knows what you’re going to get from him.  

Then Southgate and his men… a lot has been said about this England squad and the key to winning any trophy is a solid backline. Apart from Stones, can we even trust any other centre-back? Maguire’s not often let England down, but lack of football at United suggests he will be way off the pace. A lot of hope will lie with Kane, Foden, Sterling and Saka. But whatever happens, let’s hope we play on the front foot, rather than sit 10 men behind the ball. With the route suggesting a Quarter Final tie with France, we have hope but who knows how much? 

In any type of knockout football, you can’t rule out the Germans. A team full of serial winners led by an excellent coach in Hansi Flick, you just never know! A stalwart between the stick in Manuel Neuer and the never aging Thomas Muller, they have experience and exciting talent. Musiala will be the one to watch; could’ve been playing for England. The pivot of Kimmich and Gundogan will provide a good base. Lastly the GOATS nation, you can’t tell me you don’t back him to go and win the World Cup after his interview antics with Piers Morgan. Ronaldo will be backed by Bruno, Bernado Silva, Joao Cancelo and many other talents. On paper, another great side, potentially let down by their lack of centre-backs. Will the 39 year old Pepe start? 

We have to go all the way back to 2004 to see an international tournament upset, when Greece famously won the Euros in Portugal. But could we see an upset in Qatar? There are 2 sides to highlight who we think could provide some form of an upset.  

Let’s start with the Danes. Denmark got to the semi finals of Euro 2020 and have the credentials of a good side covered. They possess 3 experienced centre-backs in Anderson, Christensen and Kjaer to accompany Kasper Schmeichel in goal. Added to this, they have the little master Eriksen in the middle with an exciting, relatively young, front line.  

Could they surprise us again?  

Then we have the tournaments first winners Uruguay. A solid side, filled with experienced players that have done it all. They will have Suarez and Cavani in attack to join Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez, as well as Gimenez, Godin and Barca’s Araujo at the back. If they are to come good though, a lot will rest on the shoulders of Real Madrid star Fede Valverde, the centre midfield has exploded recently and been a key player for Los Blancos.  

Whatever the result, we are looking forward to a month of great football and a memorable World Cup for the right reasons… and potentially a shock win from England?! 

Our predictions?  

Kaush – Brazil win and Vinicius JR to bag the golden boot. 

Drew – Argentina to win and Kane for golden boot. 

Maddie – ‘doesn’t know and doesn’t care’  

Amy – Argentina to win and Kane for golden boot 

Nav – Argentina to win and Lautaro Martinez for golden boot. 

Tom – Germany to win and Sane for golden boot.  

Jade – England to win and Kane for golden boot.  

Who do you think is going to win it?

*photo copyright to FIFA.

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