YP predicts... the 2018 World Cup - who are you backing?

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The Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post team do their best to predict what lies ahead in Russia...

With the grandest football show on earth about to take centre stage we decided to ask our team of writers to give us their predictions ahead of this summer's quadrennial tournament.

World Cup 2018.

World Cup 2018.

Who will conquer the world and who will flop? Take a look below at our team's thoughts and let us know yours in the comments section...

Phil Hay

Winners: Brazil

Surprise team: Serbia

Under performers: France

Dark horses: Portugal

Top scorer: Gonzalo Higuain

Player of the tournament: Philippe Coutinho

How far will England get? Last eight

Leon Wobschall

Winners: Germany.

Surprise team: Serbia.

Under performers: Portugal.

Top-scorer: Werner.

Player of the tournament: Neymar.

How far will England get: Quarter-finals

Joe Urquhart

Winners: France

Surprise team: Poland

Under performers: Brazil

Dark horses: Uruguay

Top scorer: Antoine Griezmann

Player of the tournament: Isco

How far will England get? Quarter-finals

Why?

I fully expect France to fulfil their promise in Russia with Antoine Griezmann paving the way before a big money summer move. I pulled out Uruguay in the sweep so, naturally, they are my dark horses and I believe Poland will turn a few heads - a solid defence with a poacher of a number 9, what more could you want?

Lee Sobot

Winners: Brazil

Surprise team: Egypt

Under performers: Argentina

Dark horses: Croatia

Top scorer: Neymar

Player of the tournament: Neymar

How far will England get? Quarter-finals

Graeme Bandeira

Winners: Spain

Surprise team: Mexico

Under performers: Portugal

Dark horses: Uruguay

Top scorer: Luis Suarez

Player of the tournament: Messi

Andrew Hutchinson

Winners: Argentina

Surprise team: Poland

Under performers: Portugal

Dark horses: Croatia

Top scorer: Messi

Player of the tournament: Antoine Griezmann

How far will England get? Semi-final

Mark Thompson

Winners: Germany

Surprise team: Colombia

Under performers: France

Dark horses: Uruguay

Top scorer: Neymar

Player of the tournament: Neymar

How far will England get? Quarter-finals

Why?

I predict Brazil to showboat throughout the tournament, racking up plenty of goals and rave reviews, before being pushed aside by a strong Germany team. I'd expect the South American teams to have a strong World Cup with both Colombia and Uruguay having favourable groups that will allow them to grow into the tournament. And expect some drama from what could be a volatile France side.

Grace Newton

Winners: Spain

Surprise team: Australia

Under performers: Belgium

Dark horses: Portugal

Top scorer: Kylian Mbappe

Player of the tournament: Son Heung-min