World Cup: Who will win?

World Cup: Who will win?
The World Cup trophy.

Our football writer Gary Lim:

No European team have won the World Cup in South America.

The familiarity with the climate and culture of Brazil makes South American teams the ones to beat once again.

Uruguay are the dark horses. A lot depends on whether their talismanic striker Luis Suarez can go into day one in tip-top condition, to terrorise his opponents the way he does for fun in the English Premier League.

Brazil are the hot favourites.

By virtue of being hosts, they have the benefit of knowing every ground right down to the minutest details. They also have the home crowd behind them.

But with expectation comes pressure.

This may be to their disadvantage.

Argentina are well positioned to profit from that.

Mind you, the expectations on them are by no means negligible - bookmakers have made them the second favourites to win the competition.

But they won't have an entire country climbing onto their backs if they get off to a mediocre start.

They won't have thousands of angry fans getting in their faces every day until the next game, should they fail to win their first match. And they have the pedigree to go all the way.

Former coach Diego Maradona had all the equipment to guide them to glory in South Africa four years ago, but he didn't have the know-how.

STABILITY

His successor Alejandro Sabella has injected stability into the side.

Crucially, he has managed to succeed where his predecessors failed: Getting the best out of Lionel Messi.

For a change, Messi these days seems to be playing better football for country than for his club Barcelona.

If the Barcelona star manages to soar at the World Cup with Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel di Maria cruising in his slipstream, no one is a match for Argentina.

Not even Brazil. 

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