#World Cup 2018: Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Shearer, others predict who will win the world cup

The 2018 Fifa World Cup starts in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday and finishes at the same venue on 15 July.

Thirty-two teams will contest the tournament, including hosts Russia, holders Germany and five-time winners Brazil.

But who will get their hands on the famous gold trophy this time? Which outsiders will spring a surprise? And how will England do?

Here, BBC Sport’s TV and radio football presenters and pundits predict what will happen during the next four weeks…

Gary Lineker: History tells us that it’s normally a European team who wins when the World Cup is on this continent – and there are some very strong European teams at the moment.

Germany are always a threat and won’t be far away, while France have got some amazing players and will have a chance if they can get it together – but, if I had to pick someone, I would go with Spain. They have a tremendous depth to their squad and are technically brilliant as always.

Outside of that, Brazil are always contenders – but I don’t like the way they play at the moment, it’s a bit negative. I hope they don’t play with three holding midfielders, which they have been using lately.

Kevin Kilbane:
Spain, because the way they play as a collective is the best brand of football, and many of their big players are used to winning major tournaments at club level.

Alan Shearer: I am going to go for experience, and I am going to go with Brazil. I am expecting especially big things from Gabriel Jesus, who is young, fresh and energetic.
Brazil 1-7 Germany: The night Brazil collapsed in the 2014 World Cup semi-final

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Mark Lawrenson: I think putting the 7-1 Germany defeat in the 2014 semi-finals behind them is the big thing for Brazil. It is almost like they need to exorcise the ghost of that defeat for the entire country.

They had a similar sort of redemption when they won the 2002 World Cup after losing the 1998 final. Ronaldo made amends then by scoring two goals in the final, and I am sure Neymar visualises himself doing the same in Russia and helping Brazil win it.

They have got so many players who can cause teams problems and their coach, Tite, seems to be able to get the best out of them. I still don’t think they are brilliant defensively – but who is?

Chris Sutton: You just cannot rule out the moody Blues of France. As usual, it will be triumph or disaster – there will be nothing in between – but they have got some talented players. If they click – and it is a big if – they are my tips.

Frank Lampard: France and Belgium might be the two strongest sides in the tournament in terms of individuals but I would go with Germany to win it because of how good they are as a team.

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They also have a winning mentality. They will come into the tournament thinking they are going to win it, while we are doubting ourselves. That means a lot at this level.

Rio Ferdinand: I don’t think there’s a clear front-runner. France have got the talent but I’m leaning towards Germany because of their experience.
World Cup 2014: Germany 1-0 Argentina (aet) highlights

Alex Scott: Germany have got the right blend of young players coming through, alongside the ones who have been there and won it before. They will find a way to get it done.

Jermaine Jenas: I will be surprised if Germany don’t win it. They showed the depth they have by winning the Confederations Cup last year with what I would call their B team and they have always been so consistent at major finals.

They get themselves into a position where it doesn’t come down to a bit of luck. They will be in Russia to seize the moment.

Who will win the 2018 World Cup?
Germany (5): Rio Ferdinand, Jermaine Jenas, Frank Lampard, Gabby Logan, Alex Scott
Brazil (2): Mark Lawrenson, Alan Shearer
Spain (2): Kevin Kilbane, Gary Lineker
France (1): Chris Sutton

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