Ahead of kick off in Qatar, former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill has made some fairly outrageous predictions on his bracket for the tournament.
Cahill, who played for Australia at four World Cups during his playing career, has predicted a strong showing for his native 'Socceroos', as he believes they will make the quarter-finals for the first time ever.
His predictions get far more outlandish, however, and the amount of major footballing nations he expects to underperform is simply staggering.
Tim Cahill makes bold England shout ahead of World Cup
The bracket of Tim Cahill's World Cup predictions simply have to be seen to be believed.
— Road to 2022 (@roadto2022en) November 14, 2022
Some of the standout shouts from Cahill's predictions include:
- Qatar knocking out the Netherlands, and England, and reaching the quarter-finals
- Saudi Arabia to reach the knockout stages ahead of Poland and Mexico
- Australia knocking out Denmark, and Argentina, and reaching the quarter-finals
- Cameroon to knock out Serbia, Switzerland, and Portugal, and reach the quarter-finals
- Senegal to reach the semi-finals
- Ghana to qualify for the last 16 ahead of Uruguay and South Korea
The last of those predictions is the only one that could reasonably be made by other pundits, with Senegal making the grade as many pundits' underdogs for the tournament.
However, a quarter-final lineup of Senegal, Australia, Qatar, Cameroon, Germany, Brazil, Belgium, and France certainly seems unlikely.
Of course, every World Cup comes with its fair share of surprises, and Senegal and Cameroon have both been central to such shocks in the past, in 1990 and 2002. However, the sheer amount of upsets predicted by Tim Cahill seems unreasonable.
England fans will certainly not be happy by his prediction that the team will be dumped out of the tournament in the second round by hosts Qatar (presumably on penalties).
Given Cahill has predicted that Qatar will go deep into the tournament, it is worth remembering that he has taken on a role as one of the tournament's official ambassadors on the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. But we're sure that has nothing to do with his glowing endorsement of Qatar whatsoever.