Sheffield United: Who Paul Heckingbottom thinks will lift the World Cup as England win

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Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has revealed which country he believes will win the World Cup, after England opened their campaign with a victory over Iran.

Although two members of the Championship club’s first team squad - Senegal’s Iliman Ndiaye and Adam Davies of Wales - have travelled to the tournament with Qatar, Heckingbottom does not think either will triumph in next month’s final. Nor, despite being a proud Englishman, is the 45-year-old expecting Gareth Southgate’s team to return home clutching the trophy.

Instead, citing conditions in the Middle East as being conducive to players from South America, Heckingbottom has chosen Brazil as his favourites. But he suspects France, rather than Argentina, will pose the greatest threat to A Selecao’s hopes of claiming the title for a sixth time.

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“Brazil, that’s who I’m going for although obviously I’m hoping it’s England,” Heckingbottom told The Star. “If it’s not them then I think it could be France, I think they’ll go well. They’ve got the depth to do it as well.”

“I just think with the weather being how it is, the heat even though it's being played at a cooler time of year, will suit the teams from hotter countries.”

Brazil possess a ridiculous array of attacking talent, with head coach Tite including Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison in his plans while Thiago Silva is set to anchor their defence. France’s hopes of advancing to the later stages were dealt a blow when Karim Benzema suffered an injury ahead of their clash with Australia tomorrow.

With United stepping up their preparations for December 10th’s return to Championship action, when Huddersfield Town are scheduled to visit Bramall Lane, Heckingbottom nevertheless hopes to take in as much of the action as possible.

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“I’m hoping to have the time to watch plenty, especially the England games,” he said. “Obviously I hope the lads from here, Ili and Davo, do really well with their countries too. That goes without saying, doesn’t it. It’s a brilliant opportunity for them and they’ll take so much from it. It’s great for them and great for us to see them out there.”