World Cup 2018: Team Betfair's outright winner and top goalscorer tips

Rio Ferdinand, Michel Salgado, Henrik Larsson, Rivaldo and Michael Ballack
Team Betfair: Rio Ferdinand, Michel Salgado, Henrik Larsson, Rivaldo and Michael Ballack reveal their World Cup selections
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We have assembled a hugely experienced panel of legends to give us their exclusive insight on the World Cup. Introducing Team Betfair: Rio Ferdinand, Michael Ballack, Rivaldo, Henrik Larsson and Michel Salgado. Here are their thoughts on who'll win and score the most goals...

"I fancy the Germans. They've got good balance in their squad. They have a winning mentality. Thomas Müller is going to get you goals at a tournament. There aren't many squads that have a player like that."

On picking a World Cup Winner...



Rio Ferdinand: "England can't win the World Cup. They are going there to compete. The biggest win for England would be to see an improvement on their last tournament. England have an inexperienced squad but they're hungry and eager to learn. They've got to start well. They've got to aim to win their first two Group games, so then the Belgium game doesn't matter.

"For tournament winners, I fancy the Germans. They've got good balance in their squad. They have a winning mentality. Thomas Müller is going to get you goals at a tournament. There aren't many squads that have a player like that. But you know Müller will score. The Germans invariably get the job done."

Michael Ballack: "Germany have a great balance of experienced and young players. It's up to the players and coach to recreate the winning spirit of four years ago in 2018.

"Manuel Neuer has worked so hard on his fitness that I'm sure he's fit and ready for the World Cup. He's the captain and he's not replaceable. He's an exceptionally good player."

"I wouldn't bet against Germany. Brazil are strong. Brazil v Germany would be a good final and I think that's what will happen."

Henrik Larsson: "Germany will win Sweden's group. Sweden will have to battle with Mexico for second spot. We have a team that are prepared to work hard for each other.

"As for a World Cup winner, I fancy Spain, Germany, Brazil, in that order. So Spain to win."

Michel Salgado: "After the disappointment of 2014, it's different for Spain this time. We have a manager with fresh ideas. We have replaced Xavi with Isco and he's the one player who can do something different at any moment.

"Up front, we have new players too - Iago Aspas and Rodrigo. Diego Costa offers us something different. David de Gea is one of the top goalkeepers in the world. It's a really balanced team. I don't see a real weakness. I think we're coming back."

Rivaldo: "There's less pressure on Brazil this time, as they're not playing in Brazil, and playing in Russia might suit them. I don't see a weakness in this Brazil team, although I wouldn't mention it if I did! I think Brazil will win."

On picking a top goalscorer...

Rio Ferdinand: "I fancy Antoine Griezmann. France have got quite an easy group. Griezmann turns up on big occasions. He was top goalscorer at the Euros in 2016. His movement is sublime. If France click, he could score a hatful."

Henrik Larsson: "Kylian Mbappe. Some people say France don't play as a team but, if they do get it together, I think he has a good chance of being top scorer."

Michael Ballack: "Neymar is a strong candidate. A great player who takes penalties and free-kicks. But I'll go with Thomas Müller."

Michel Salgado: "Thomas Müller and Harry Kane. Top scorer is sometimes about the Group Stage. In the Group games, strikers can score a lot of goals, and it's more difficult to score in the knockout stages. England play Tunisia and Panama in their first two games. Kane could score four or five goals in the Group."

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