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Our World Cup 2018 Predictions: Tom

If my Bolton season predictions are anything to go by this could be interesting.

Croatia v Brazil - International Friendly
I am backing Roberto Firmino to be one the shining stars of this year’s tournament.
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

I was miles off predicting both Sunderland to get promotion and Bolton to finish mid-table this season, so I don’t hold out much hope for these predictions.

Here goes nothing:

How far will England get?

I think we will get to the Quarter-Finals where we will most likely meet Germany or Brazil. I would consider a showing like this a perfectly acceptable one as we are not likely to be a match for sides of the their quality, but we should be able to cope well with any potential opponents in the Second-Round. Football won’t be coming home this year.

My England Staring XI

3-5-2: Pickford, Walker, Cahill, Maguire, Trippier, Dier, Alli, Sterling, Young, Kane, Vardy

We are at our best when we attack teams, so I would ensure our flair-players are given ample opportunity to shine in an attacking line-up. We don’t play 2 up-front enough even though both Vardy and Kane are consistent goal-scorers, so I would want to see us try this team out against Tunisia and Panama to test its effectiveness before the big game against Belgium.

England’s Top Scorer

If he starts both of the first two matches, Jamie Vardy. If not, Harry Kane

Competition Winners

Brazil- they have a solid defence, a solid midfield and a terrifying attack.

Runners-Up

Germany- leaving Sané at home will prove a huge error of judgement in my opinion.

Final Four

Brazil, France, Germany and Spain

Surprise Team

Iceland- They are awkward buggers who never give up. You would be foolish to bet against them getting out of their group but they look certain to meet France in the Second-Round which, as we saw at Euro 2016, is a bridge too far for them.

Flop Team

It’s always Croatia. They never disappoint on this front.

Golden Ball Winner

Roberto Firmino (if Tite is sensible enough to start him).

Best Young Player

Kylian Mbappé

Golden Boot Winner

Timo Werner

Golden Glove Winner

Either Neuer or Alisson depending on who wins the final.

Surprise Player

Julian Brandt. Well he has to be bloody brilliant if he’s in the squad over Sané!

Surprise Flop Player

Paul Pogba. Would it be a surprise though?

Own Bonus Prediction

Russia deserve a special mention because Putin seems like the kind of man to have slipped the right people enough money to ensure they get out of their group. Who’s to say he didn’t orchestrate the Mo Salah injury? Stranger things as they say…