Features

Interview: ITV World Cup pundit Andy Townsend

4th June 2014

Andy Townsend, ITV pundit and former Republic of Ireland captain, looks ahead to the 2014 World Cup and sees Argentina as the team to beat. 

What are you most looking forward to about the World Cup in Brazil? 
I am really looking forward to seeing arguably the best all round collection of strikers in a tournament for many years. Cavani, Suarez, Rooney, RVP, Drogba, Ronaldo, 

Neymar, Dzeko, Remy, Balotelli, Messi, Aguero. The list goes on and on and I feel
that the spirit and passion of South American football will inspire these great players
to attack and go for it.

Who do you think will win the World Cup and why?
Argentina - I look at the group they are in and then look at the quality. Never mind
the obvious in the attacking positions but at the back they have Zabaleta and Garay -
two of the best in their positions in the world. They must go close.

Which do you think will be the teams and players to look out for during the
tournament?
Belgium. What an amazing group of players. The question is whether Marc Wilmots
can get that all important balance. If they get some early momentum they are a
team to avoid.

What do you think the toughest challenge facing England will be this time around?
Energy. Some of Englands younger players are experiencing their 'breakthrough'
seasons - Sterling, Sturridge, Lallana, Henderson. It gets tough on the legs in the
middle of June after the seasons they’ve had.

Do you think England can win it and why/why not?
No, I don’t see England getting close this time. Tough group - it will be a job well
done to qualify. I hope they play on the edge a bit, go for it, like they did in the last
few qualifiers. They are dangerous like that but I don’t feel they will be strong
enough defensively to really worry the best.

Which players will be key for England?
Hart, Cahill, Sterling, Rooney.

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