World Cup: Star Sport football panel give their predictions

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South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire football experts give their views on the teams and the players to look out for at this year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Lee Bullen - Sheffield Wednesday coach

Who will win it?

I fancy Argentina. They seem to have a really good overall squad. I know Brazil will be one of the favourites with it being in their own backyard but Argentina have got one of the best players in the world in Lionel Messi so think they will be tough to beat.

Top goalscorer?

Sergio Aguero. Argentina will be there or thereabouts and he will get a lot of chances.

Player to watch?

I would like to say Ross Barkley given the loan spell he had at our place. I hope he gets some game time. He’s a fantastic talent. He’s one I would love to watch on that stage. He’s young, full of energy and plays with no fear.

Dark horses?

Chile recently gave England a tough time at Wembley. For them to come to Europe and turn over England was impressive. They might just surprise a few people with it being in South America. I don’t expect them to get anywhere near the last four but they might have a couple of surprise results in them.

How will England do?

“I really do fancy them to get out of the group. Italy will be tough but I think they will beat Uruguay who I think are weak defensively. They can get at them. If England get to the quarter finals, I think that should be regarded as a successful tournament. I think it’s exciting for England this time because there isn’t a huge amount of pressure on them.

Paul Warne - Rotherham United coach

Who will win it?

It’s usually a team from the same continent as the host country that wins it. Brazil have got to have a chance with all the home advantages they have, but I’ll go for Argentina.

Top goalscorer?

Neymar will do well for Brazil. My son saw him play in the Olympics and said he was a ‘ledge’, and he knows more than me.

Player to watch?

The lad from Everton, Ross Barkley. I like him. He has the ignorance of youth, which is a good thing, He plays like he did at school - no fear. And he has something a bit special. Triers aren’t enough on this stage.

Dark horses?

Wrong continent, but Belgium. Look at their squad. There are some really talented players in there.

How will England do?

They might surprise people. They’ve not had the worst preparation and it’s a happier camp than it was in 2010 in South Africa with them being allowed time with their families. There’s no pressure on them, they’ve got a relaxed approach and there’s pace in the side. I fancy them to beat Italy and they could go as far as the semi-finals. I really hope Rickie Lambert plays and scores. It’s ridiculous, his story. Roy of the Rovers stuff.

John Buckley - former Doncaster Rovers and Rotherham player

Who will win it?

Argentina. You can’t look too far past their front line and the brilliant midfield they’ve got. Being a South American team in a South American World Cup will be a massive factor as well.

Top scorer?

Sergio Aguero. He is just lethal in front of goal. People talk about Messi, and he’s undoubtedly the best player in the world, but he is very unselfish. Aguero will benefit from Messi’s unselfishness.

Player to watch?

You can name the usual suspects from every team. But I think Jack Wilshere can make a big impression if he’s given the chance. He’s a top quality player and I think he did well in the warm-up games. He just needs the game time.

Dark horses?

Holland. It seems strange talking about them as outsiders but I do fancy the Dutch to do well. They’ve been written off but they’ve got plenty of excellent players and if it comes together for them, they can go a long way.

How will England do?

I think they’ll come through the group and then it’s just the old cliche of taking each game as it comes. I’d really like to see Roy Hodgson pick the young kids and really go for it. I don’t think people would be a lot more positive about the whole thing if they saw him doing that.

Jim O’Brien – Barnsley winger

Who will win it?

I fancy Argentina to win it this year. They’ve got a really good squad. Brazil will by there and thereabouts and I’m sure a lot of the other South American teams as well, but I just fancy Argentina. It’s Lionel Messi’s time to shine.

Top goalscorer?

Neymar (Brazil). He’s playing at home and will enjoy playing there. He’s a great player and should score a few if he can produce his best form.

Player to watch?

Ross Barkley (England). He’s done really well this season and I suppose a lot of people are hoping he comes to the party. I’d have loved it to be John Stones though, I enjoyed playing with at Barnsley and I’m really happy he’s managed to get into the England squad so quickly.

Dark horses?

Uruguay. I think they might surprise a few people. They’ve obviously got Luis Suarez in their side and he’s been in great form this season scoring a lot of goals. And they’ll enjoy the conditions and the heat, it’s something they’ll be used to. They also seem to keep of clean sheets, which good be a big factor in their success.

How will England do?

I don’t really care to be honest because I’m Scottish. I’d actually like them to win a penalty shootout, but after that I’m not really fussed. I think they’ll be happy just to get out of their group, it’s a tough one for them. But it’s strange this time around. They’ve gone to World Cups before with people expecting them to win, but I don’t think there’s any pressure on them this time. That could work to their advantage.

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook and Chief Executive Chris Turner

Who will win it?

Both Cook & Turner can’t look anywhere other than Brazil. “They’re bound to be under massive pressure but home advantage will be massive,” said Turner.

Top goalscorer?

Agreement again with Brazil’s Neymar the tip. Cook said: “He’s done well at Barcelona which gives him good experience against European opposition and he’s obviously got the experience in South America.”

Player to watch?

“Raheem Sterling if Roy gives him a go,” said Liverpool fan Cook whilst Turner picked out Italy’s new hero Ciro Immobile; “If he gets in ahead of Balotelli he could be a real handful, he’s just hit the scene, there’s always someone who breaks through at these tournaments.”

Dark horses?

Hardly Dark Horses but the pair’s alternative to the hosts are both South American heavyweights, “Argentina” says the Chief Executive whilst the manager picked “Uruguay,” not off the wall predictions but solid back-ups to Brazil

How will England do?

Turner has a bit of hope for Roy Hodgson’s boys: “I think they’ll make the quarter-finals even though it’ll be tough to get out of the group with Uruguay and Italy in there but I think someone will trip up against Costa Rica, they’ll play a main part.” Cook was more pessimistic; “I think the first game will determine outcome. If we draw with Italy we’ll probably lose to Uruguay and then we’ll be really under pressure. I don’t think we’ll get out of the group stages.”

Georges Santos - ex-Sheffield United defender

Who will win it?

Spain seem to have been dismissed but they are the reigning champions.

Top goalscorer?

Neymar is my pick but I hope Messi also has a good tournament.

Player to Watch?

Both of the above and you can add Sergio Aguero to that too.

Dark Horses?

Chile can do well and perhaps also an African team.

How will England do?

Well if they trust technique, are patient on the ball and use pace. But Ashley Cole should have been on the plane because of his vast experience at elite level.