World Cup 2014: BBC pundits predict what will happen in Brazil

By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport
The World Cup starts in Sao Paulo on Thursday and finishes in Rio de Janeiro on 13 July.
Thirty-two teams will contest the tournament, including hosts Brazil, holders Spain and perennial hopefuls England.
But who will get their hands on the famous trophy, how will the Three Lions do this time, and which outsiders could spring a shock?
BBC Sport’s TV and radio football presenters and pundits predict what will happen during the next four weeks.
Who will win the World Cup?

Gary Lineker: I just get a feeling this might be Lionel Messi’s time, and Argentina’s World Cup. They are a bit lightweight defensively but have a good coach in Alejandro Sabella and some brilliant forward players.
I think Messi was saving himself the last few months of the season and he will take some stopping. And they have got a nice easy group so will probably get to the knock-out stages without wasting too much energy.
Alan Shearer: I’m going for Brazil. They had a great Confederations Cup and have a manager in Luiz Felipe Scolari who has done it all before. If Neymar performs, which he did last summer, then they have a great chance.
Chris Waddle: Spain and Argentina will go close but my pick is Brazil. They are the hosts and they have a very powerful squad.
They are on a mission as well because of all the problems and protests there have been over whether they should be hosting the Wor
ld Cup and is it money wasted or not. I think they have got to win it, otherwise there will be a lot of questions to answer.
Phil Neville: The conditions are a reason I am favouring South American rather than European teams and Argentina are my favourites. They have one of the best if not the best player in the world in Messi and also have a settled system that suits him as well.
Pat Nevin: Playing in South America means the European teams will have to change their style of play – Spain tried to play at their usual tempo in the Confederations Cup and it just did not work. They will have to adapt. Brazil have a very good team anyway but having home advantage too means they are the favourites for me.
Robbie Savage: Messi is not the only reason I am going for Argentina. They also have Sergio Aguero in their attack and going forward they will be able to blow teams away.
They have some class players at the back too and I think they will be ruthless when they have to be
Brad Friedel: I’m having a hard time looking past Brazil. I know it is an easy choice but they have got some exceptional talent and they are going to be able to cope with all the elements like the different weather and travelling around their own country better than the other teams.
Yes, there is a lot of expectation for them to deal with but when Brazilians go into football, they are expected to win. It will be nothing special to them.
Martin Keown: I was in the Brazil camp for the Confederations Cup last summer and was taken aback by the emotional link between the players and the fans. It is a real force. They have a top quality team too – Neymar will be the tournament’s stand-out player.
There is lots of pressure on them, but I think they are good enough to deal with it.