64 matches, 32 countries, one winner. The World Cup is once again upon us, with the very best footballers on the planet competing for the ultimate prize. To mark the occasion the EchoSport reporters are pitting their wits against some of south Essex’s best and brightest young football experts to see who really knows more.
FIVE time winners Brazil will be the team to beat this summer, although the youngsters at Lincewood Primary School think the chase for second could be very interesting.
Here is what Jake, Josh, Will, Dylan S, Loy, Johnny, Dylan G, Dominic, Marshall, Liam and Charlie think will happen in Group A.
Dylan G: Brazil have the best players and have shown that over years of success at the World Cup.
Charlie: This group will be really interesting but Brazil will win all of their group games as hosts.
Jake: There are so many young exciting players. I can’t wait.
EchoSport reporter Luke: Ok guys, Brazil are the favourites to win the tournament in their own country but what do you think will be decisive in this group?
Will: The weather will be really important and will play in Brazil’s favour. It will be really difficult to cope with such heat and Brazil will have the pressure of performing in front of their own fans.
Johnny: I think Mexico and Croatia are going to fight for second. Players like (Javier) Hernandez (of Mexico), (Luka) Modric and (Mario) Mandzukic will want to show their skills off to qualify.
Luka Modric - one to watch
EchoSport Luke: What other players are you excited about seeing?
Loy: Neymar will be great to watch. Hulk as well.
Dominic: (Samuel) Eto’o for Cameroon will be a threat, we shouldn’t forget about them.
Dylan G and Dylan S: He isn’t as good as Neymar. Neymar played for the same club (Santos) as (Brazilian legend) Pele so he is the best.
Josh: I think Brazil might rotate some of their players in the last game so they have fresh legs for the later rounds.
EchoSport Luke: It’s a good point. If Brazil qualify with a game to go do you think Cameroon have a chance against them?
Liam and Marshall: I don’t think so. Brazil still have a lot of goals in them.
Superstar - Neymar has a bright future
Dylan S: I think that game might be a draw and people might expect Brazil to drop points.
So what about England? 48 years since Bobby Moore lifted the trophy do the youngsters think the Three Lions and Steven Gerrard will be repeating the feat in Rio this year?
Group: Win the tournament? No.
Charlie: I think England will go through. (Daniel) Sturridge will be really important for England.
EchoSport Luke: Who is England’s player to watch?
Dominic: He scored a really good goal against Peru and he can score more goals like that.
Johnny: I think England will go through with Italy. They will win in the first knockout round although it will be really hard if they get Ivory Coast – Yaya Toure is huge.
EchoSport Luke: So who will win the World Cup then?
Jake and Josh: It could be Spain or Holland. Maybe Argentina.
Dylan G: I definitely know who will win the worst hair cut award. David Luiz!
EchoSport Luke: Sounds fair to me!
To bring the World Cup to south Essex, EchoSport has invited eight primary schools to take on each other (and us!) in predicting the results of the matches. A correct score line prediction will see three points awarded and the correct result one point. The school with the most points at the end of the tournament will be crowned champions.
Thursday: Brazil v Croatia Echo: 2-0 Lincewood: 3-1
Friday: Mexico v Cameroon Echo: 2-0 Lincewood: 1-1
17/6: Brazil v Mexico Echo: 3-0 Lincewood: 3-1
18/6: Cameroon v Croatia Echo: 2-2 Lincewood: 1-2
23/6: Cameroon v Brazil Echo: 0-3 Lincewood: 0-1
23/6: Croatia v Mexico Echo: 3-2 Lincewood: 1-1