Brazil, you say? They know how to play football over there, don't they? But it's a long way for one so middle aged as I to travel.

So instead, I shall slouch into my leather armchair and view the tournament from this side of the Atlantic. I shall try and watch every game and will definitely make wildly inaccurate predictions too.

I do solemnly vow to give you a real sense of what it's like to not be at the World Cup. This is the blog where all the colour and atmosphere and passion of watching the world's greatest sporting tournament on a wall mounted widescreen really comes to life.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

PREDICTIONS: Who will qualify from World Cup Group A?

Let's get straight to the nub of the matter: The hosts have the mostest skills and the bestest chance of winning this group.

It's inconceivable that BRAZIL won't waltz Group A (isn't the waltz Argentinian?). The five-times winners will regard anything less than three out of three wins as a failure, and I can see them doing it. Pride, passion, skill and Scolari will see them safely negotiate a fairly tame group.

There's not much to split the other three teams, with each having a case for staking a claim to the runner's up spot.

But I'm plumping for CAMEROON to take it. The African nations failed to impress when the tournament made its first visit to their continent four years ago, and I think they will be out to make amends, big time.

MEXICO will push them close but will just miss out. Although star Manchester United man Javier Hernandez hasn't exactly had a busy season at Old Trafford, he's likely to be rusty and that might count against him and his nation.

I think all the European nations are going to struggle in the heat of Brazil. It's a fact you're going to hear a lot of over the next few months, but it's still worth repeating here: no European nation has ever won a World Cup held in South America, which is why I'm putting CROATIA last here. There may be as little as a point separating them and runners-up Cameroon, but it'll be enough to send them home early.

GROUP A: 1: BRAZIL;  2: CAMEROON;  3: Mexico;  4: Croatia.