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Page last updated at 06:39 GMT, Monday, 7 June 2010 07:39 UK

World Cup 2010: BBC Sport asks who are the champions?


A global poll of football experts has been conducted by the BBC Sport website to produce a predicted top four at the 2010 World Cup.

We have been asking pundits, players, managers, journalists and other experts to give us their predicted one-two-three-four at the tournament, which kicks off in South Africa on Friday.

The identities of the top four will be revealed daily, one by one from Monday, with the outright tournament winner and all the individual selections announced on Thursday.

Our survey forecasts ENGLAND will finish in fourth place, making the semi-finals for the first time in the World Cup since their heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat by Germany at Italia 90.

Wayne Rooney

World Cup guide - England

International users can view England guide here

While several experts reckoned the English side, managed by Fabio Capello, could make the final four, only a handful felt they would reach the final itself or lift the famous trophy.

One of them is the former Brazil midfielder Socrates, who said a Wayne Rooney-inspired England could emerge triumphant ahead of Spain, Brazil and the Netherlands.

"Today it is essential to have a good team and also a key player to demonstrate superiority," he said.

And the former Sweden full-back Jan Olsson had England ahead of Germany, Ivory Coast and Brazil.


"It's time for them now I think, it's been long enough since 1966. They have a very good coach, better than most other countries, and some good players too," stated Olsson.

Ex-England midfielder Geoff Thomas was another of our experts to plump for Capello's side to bring the World Cup home for the first time since 1966. His one-two-three-four is England, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina.

"England will win the World Cup because for once I think we have got a team that backs up being favourites, as they always are in our eyes," commented Thomas.

England's World Cup qualifying highlights

"I can't see a side out there who can beat us on our day. If we can get to the quarter-finals, we have got a really good chance."

Over 50 experts from more than 20 nations were polled in our survey.

They were asked to predict their top four, with the caveat that some forecasts may not work out precisely because of the variable nature of the draw.

But there are some fascinating forecasts, as demonstrated by the team which is predicted to be third. All will be revealed on Tuesday...

Work out who is going to win the World Cup with our interactive predictor and follow the progress of the 32 nations with our team tracker

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see also
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: England
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Ferdinand ruled out of World Cup
04 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England reveal 2010 squad numbers
03 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England team land in South Africa
03 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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