Exclusive: John Motson’s predictions for the World Cup in Brazil

Broadcast legend John Motson - whose parents come from Boston – has given The Standard his verdict on the football World Cup in Brazil.
John Motson. Photo: BBC/Steve BrownJohn Motson. Photo: BBC/Steve Brown
John Motson. Photo: BBC/Steve Brown

The tournament gets underway tomorrow (Thursday), with England then opening their campaign against Italy on Saturday (kick-off 11pm).

Motty, as he is affectionately known, used to visit family in Swineshead as a child and while there would watch Boston United at York Street.

The seasoned commentator - a veteran of 10 World Cups - will be supporting the BBC’s coverage from London and last week took time out of his preparations to speak to The Standard about the forthcoming sporting spectacle.

The bookies make the hosts the favourites and Motty agrees that a combination of home advantage and attacking flair should see them win their sixth title.

He said: “Everything seems to be in Brazil’s favour.”

Outside of Brazil, he thinks their South American rivals Argentina will be another strong contender.

He pointed out that a European team have never won a World Cup in South America, but said Spain and Germany as the most likely candidates to break that duck.

He also tipped Didier Deschamps’ resurgent France as a threat, despite Les Bleus finishing bottom of their group in the last World Cup.

He said: “They look to me in very good fettle with some very good players. I have just got a funny feeling.”

Of England, he said: “I think the good thing about this squad is the majority of players are very new to it. I don’t see any reason why they should be over-awed. I think the mix (manager) Roy Hodgson has got of youth and experience promises to be quite interesting to see how they materialise as a team.”

He said he could see the team getting past the group stages, with rivals Uruguay not as much a threat as their seeded status suggests.

He said: “I think Uruguay’s defence is nothing like as good as their attack.

“I think England are probably capable of getting to the quarter-finals. Beyond that, I would not be too sure. I have a feeling England might come up against a real heavyweight in the quarter-finals like Brazil and Spain in which case I would not be so confident.”

Closer to home, he still takes an interest in the Pilgrims’ fortunes.

He said: “I still follow their results. I didn’t get the chance to see them play last season. I still have a great affection for Boston as obviously that’s where I spent my childhood holidays and my mother and father both came from the town.”