TNT Sports Editor, Tom Sturrock, gives you his expert tips and predictions for the World Cup 2010.
Will the Poms be crying or flying?
They’ll be flying for a bit early on, because they’ve got a soft draw, before it all comes crashing down in the most hilariously ignominious English tradition.
Is it OK to want them to do well?
Hell, no. The Poms are yappy enough even when mediocre. Can you imagine what your English workmates will be like if they actually win something? It’s OK to want them to make the early running, because it will be even funnier when their hopes are inevitably dashed, as usual, by the ruthless Germans, the cheating Italians or the shifty Argies.
Which England player is the most annoying?
Take your pick between John Terry and Ashley Cole. Smug Chelsea wankers.
Which player will emerge as the tournament’s leading hate figure?
Cristiano Ronaldo is the incumbent and it’s hard to see anyone knocking him off. If Portugal struggle, he’ll have a hissy-fit, and if they go OK he’s sure to celebrate and posture obnoxiously. Is there a more dislikeable man in international sport?
Most surprising headline?
“Mourinho: I want to coach England”.
Most unwelcome controversy?
There is sure to be a contentious refereeing decision at some point – a penalty given or a penalty missed, a goal from a blatant offside or a blatant handball – which contributes to a team being eliminated. After Thierry Henry shafted Ireland in the qualifiers, the decision will be haggled over and replayed ad nauseum amid the same tired old arguments about balancing the need for video technology with retaining the ‘human element’ and the accompanying mistakes. And then nothing will change.
Feel-good story of the tournament?
Greece have some chance to qualify ahead of Nigeria in Group B. Would be a massive boost for their financially stricken country. Would also be great to see one of the African nations go on a tear deep into the tournament.
Likelihood of off-field scandal?
High. But what would a World Cup be without it? Betting or drugs seem the most likely candidates. Or, at least, a player will get sent home for being a dickhead.
Who will you adopt once your national side bows out?
Cameroon are my favourite underdogs. But in the latter stages, I’d be happy to see any of Argentina, Spain or the Netherlands lift the Cup.
Hard to go past Carly Zucker, Joe Cole’s missus.
Will Maradona make a fool of himself?
Undoubtedly. The only question is whether it will come after a win or a loss. You can just imagine his Argentinians getting totally outclassed near the end of the tournament, against Brazil or Spain, only for Maradona to stubbornly claim his men were the better side.