Our World Cup Panel: Knockout Stages!


Here’s our superstar panel on who’ll make the final four:


Darren ShanDarren ShanAuthor, No Strings Supporter (Ireland): “I’m sticking with Costa Rica! If results go the way I expect, they will play the Netherlands in the quarter-final (I expect them to beat Mexico), and I think the Dutch will underestimate them and come unstuck. They will then probably face Argentina in the semi-final, and assuming they can keep Messi quiet, I think the underestimation factor will again play into their favour  – the Argentinians will just assume they have a natural right to beat a country like Costa Rica, and I can’t see them digging in and fighting hard when it becomes apparent that they need to. Then it’s all to play for in the final!!!”


Hugo headshotHugo SpeerActor, No Strings Patron (England): “I don’t foresee any surprise packages making it into the last four. Just the big guns of Brazil, Holland, Germany and Argentina. After their tactically superb undoing of a very strong Chilean side I still fancy the Dutch to lift the trophy, beating Brazil in the final. I’m loving Johnie’s increasingly bizarre predictions. What a fascinating planet he must happily reside on!”


Neil headshot 2Neil MorrisseyActor, No Strings Patron (England): “I still think Germany could do it but I’m loving Colombia and Chile. Could Brazil get it together? Not sure.”



Bill HeadshotBill LeesonGarden Africa. No Strings Advisor & Founder of War Child (England): “OK it was clearly wishful thinking to imagine England getting as far as the knock-out stage! Looking at the draw for the last 16, most likely semi-finalists are Brazil v Germany and the Netherlands v Argentina. Although Brazil remain favourites, I think Germany might surprise them and meet Argentina in the final. So far only Messi has shone, but if Aguero, Higuain and di Mario get into their stride I think Argentina will go all the way.”


Lisa headshotLisa BuckleyNo Strings Lead Puppet Trainer (USA): “OK here goes! My World Cup prediction. USA all the way. No-one expects it. We dominate!!! Goals from all directions. Even Tim Howard scores…. Ha ha, just kidding. Seriously, Paul the Octopus spoke to me from his watery grave and said Netherlands, Germany, Argentina and Germany in the last four. Holland and Germany in the final. Hahahahah”


Johnie headshotJohnie McGladeNo Strings Founder & Director (Ireland): “England are out?? That makes it tricky. I’d love to see an African team getting into the last four. You go to Africa and kids will play amazing football everywhere, in their bare feet with a ball made of rags if they have to. Has to be Nigeria. Being more cautious, I fancy Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Germany in the final four, but with Algeria in the mix you never know either….”