What will happen at the World Cup? BT Sport pundits make their predictions

BT Sport pundits make their World Cup predictions about what they think will unfold in Qatar

By James Descombes Published: 21 November 2022 - 4.14pm

It's all eyes on Qatar in what is a unique World Cup mid-way through the domestic season. 

So what can we expect? Will nations that have historically done well at World Cups continue to dominate or will there be a surprise package this time around? 

And most importantly, how will England and Wales do? Our panel discuss all this and more.

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Chris Sutton

Which player are you most looking forward to watching?

Lionel Messi, of course. It’s his last World Cup, so I'm interested to see if he can go out with a bang.

 

Who will be the breakout star?

Japan's Takefusa Kubo… they call him the "Young Messi".

 

Which team are you most looking forward to watching?

Senegal, though I don’t know if Sadio Mane is going to be fit.

 

How far will England go?

Quarter-finals. I think they’ll probably meet France in the Quarter-finals and get walloped.

 

How far will Wales go?

Wales won’t win a game and will go out in the group stage.

 

Who will win the World Cup?

France. They’re a little bit moody sometimes, but the players they have, the strength and depth within their squad, I think they’re going to get it together and be world champions again.

Mbappe lifting the World Cup for France in 2018
France and Kylian Mbappe lifted the World Cup in 2018 - can they do it again in Qatar?

Robbie Savage

Which player are you most looking forward to watching?

Messi. It will probably be his last World Cup.

 

Who will be the breakout star?

Xavi Simons, he’s having an exceptional season for PSV.

 

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Messi. Argentina have been given a good draw and I think he could score quite a lot of goals in that group stage.

 

Which team are you most looking forward to watching?

Brazil. All the World Cups, the flare teams, the players…. It’s always Brazil. I can’t wait to see what Brazil have got to offer.

 

How far will England go?

Semi-finals.

 

How far will Wales go?

I think they’ll get out the group in second place. I would say the last 16.

 

Who will win the World Cup?

Brazil, I think they’ve got so much attacking talent.

Xavi Simons
Holland's 19-year-old Xavi Simons has impressed for PSV this season

Adebayo Akinfenwa

Which player are you most looking forward to watching?

Jude Bellingham. I’m looking forward to seeing him on a big stage.

 

Who will be the breakout star?

Nico Williams of Spain. Not the Welsh one, the one that plays for Athletic Bilbao.

 

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Harry Kane.

 

Which team are you most looking forward to watching?

Argentina. I think there’s something about this World Cup for them.

 

How far will England go?

All the way. It will be an England vs Senegal final.

 

How far will Wales go?

Semi-finals.  

 

Who will win the World Cup?

Senegal. I’m throwing that out there. If not England, Senegal. 

Rachel Brown-Finnis

Which player are you most looking forward to watching?

For a whole host of reasons, Christian Eriksen.

 

Who will be the breakout star?

Gabriel Martinelli. He’s had a great season at Arsenal and he’s going to take that into his first World Cup.

 

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Harry Kane.

 

Which team are you most looking forward to watching?

Brazil.

 

How far will England go?

Final. That's the minimum I'm expecting!

 

How far will Wales go?

I think they’ll get out the group. I think last 16.

 

Who will win the World Cup?

Brazil.

lionel messi
Lionel Messi - Argentina

Jules Breach

Which player are you most looking forward to watching?

Messi. It’s his last World Cup, you’d imagine. He’s an absolute legend.

 

Who will be the breakout star?

Leandro Trossard.

 

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Harry Kane.

 

Which team are you most looking forward to watching?

At the last World Cup in Russia, Senegal were so much fun.

They brought such good vibes to every single game they played. Their fans were amazing, the team were always smiling, dancing, happy regardless of results, so I always look forward to seeing Senegal.

I also think one of the tournament’s dark horses could be Denmark, so I’m looking forward to seeing them play as well. They did so well in the Euros, I think they could go quite far in the tournament and surprise some people.

 

How far will England go?

I think they’ll win their group and do well in the knockout stages. Fingers crossed they make it to the final.

 

How far will Wales go?

Maybe round of 16.

 

Who will win the World Cup?

I hope England win the World Cup and they could. Fingers crossed. But who do I think will win it? Maybe Brazil.

Neymar
Neymar - Brazil

Glenn Hoddle

Who will be the breakout star?

Phil Foden is a special player that could take us to another level. He’s got all the capabilities – he can score goals, he can create. He’s got all those assets, so whichever shape you play, he’s a must.

The lad Pedri at Barcelona is a special player. A young kid, 19, and what Xavi’s been saying about him… he could be one. 

 

Who's your World Cup dark horse? 

A team like Denmark, they had a good Euros and could be a dark horse.

They’re well organised, they’re strong mentally and physically and they’ve got ability.

 

How will England do?

I think we’ll fall just short with the defensive frailties. 

 

Who will win the World Cup?

Brazil have got a solidness about them. They’ve got either goalkeeper – it’s vital that the goalkeepers have a good tournament.

They’ve got this solid base to add to what they’ve got at the top of the pitch, which they always have.

I probably think they’re favourites and rightly so. I think the environment of Qatar is going to suit them – it’s not like playing in Europe or South America, it’s in between. The environment there will be conducive to them wining it. 

Hear more World Cup thoughts from Glenn Hoddle on Michael Calvin's Football People podcast on BT Sport >