Soccer Saturday pundits predict their World Cup winners ahead of the final 16

The Soccer Saturday pundits deliver their revised predictions on who will lift the World Cup trophy as we head into the knockout stages.

Holders Germany crashed out after finishing bottom of Group F, meaning Brazil have shortened to 7/2 outright favourites with Sky Bet, while Gareth Southgate’s England have been cut from 16/1 to 15/2 after safely navigating the group stages.

So who are the Soccer Saturday pundits backing? Here are their predictions…

Paul Merson: Brazil (7/2 with Sky Bet)

At the moment I see Brazil winning it. The only team I can see beating them is Belgium. They have got an arrogance about them that will see them take the game to Brazil. That’s the way to beat Brazil but a lot of teams show them too much respect.

However, I still think Brazil haven’t got out of second gear. There’s still so much to come from them.

Charlie Nicholas: Uruguay (22/1 with Sky Bet)

My dark horse before the tournament was Uruguay and I’m going to stay fairly loyal to them. However, there is one team that has given me the impression that they look like the winners and that’s Brazil. It’s an incredibly tight competition at the moment.

I see Spain going quite close but I don’t really fancy them defensively, England are another with defensive frailties. Brazil and Croatia are probably the two teams that have shown the most so far but I’m going to stick with Uruguay.

Phil Thompson: France (8/1 with Sky Bet)

I still think it is really wide open. Nobody has been really convincing. We say it all really kicks off at the knockout stages as that’s when you see what teams are really about, so I’m going to stick with my pre-tournament prediction of France.

They’ve shown a solid defensive basis but they’ve also got different goalscoring options in Antoine Griezman, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe.

Matt Le Tissier: Spain (4/1 with Sky Bet)

I’m sticking to my guns, I still think that Spain will do it. They look strong in every department, and I think they’ll go all the way, even if they do have to knock out England in the semi-finals.