The 2018 World Cup is just four days away.
The action gets underway with hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia, the first of 64 matches in what promises to be an enthralling competition.
Several nations will head to Russia believing that they can win the tournament.
Germany are the hosts and Joachim Low is so confident in his squad that he decided to leave Leroy Sane out.
France’s squad is filled with talent and Didier Deschamps’ side will certainly be taken seriously.
Then there’s Spain, who will be eager to make up for their horrendous showing four years ago in Brazil.
But in the opinion of former England international Michael Owen, neither of those three nations will be successful this time around.
Owen's World Cup prediction
Owen believes that Brazil, whose 2014 World Cup ended in such disappointment, will bounce back and lift their first trophy since 2002.
“They’ve two brilliant goalkeepers, they’ve got defenders and they have that array of attacking talent with Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho,” Owen told the Daily Mail.
“France obviously have a lot of good players but I’m a bit sceptical about them in tournaments.
“Spain and Germany I also like, but Brazil would be my idea of the strongest team.”
Owen was speaking before Brazil’s impressive victory over Austria on Sunday.
Jesus, Neymar and Coutinho got the goals as Tite’s side produced an extremely encouraging performance in their final warm-up match.
Brazil couldn’t deliver when they were the hosts but with Neymar back and the attack firing on all cylinders, this could certainly be their year.
As for England, Owen expects Gareth Southgate’s side to reach the quarter-finals.
“We’ve been blessed with the draw and, if we don’t get into the quarter-finals, I think there will be big questions asked,” the former Liverpool striker added.
“But I do like our manager, I like our system and we have a couple of match winners in there.
“We’re going to play someone decent in the quarters and if we get beat, then I suppose everyone will say well that’s about par.
“And I think that’s probably what will happen.”
That would certainly be an improvement on 2014, in which England finished bottom of their group.News Now - Sport News