Dailly: It's Argentina's year

Christian Dailly is tipping Argentina to win the World Cup, singling out Lionel Messi to be the player of the tournament.

The former Scotland defender also believes England have every opportunity of making it to the latter stages, having sent out to Brazil a 'more exciting team than normal.'

The 40-year-old former Dundee United and West Ham United player told Sky Sports World Cup Verdict: "Argentina are fantastic going forward and with someone like Messi playing in that climate, the way that he is able to slow the game down and then explode with a tremendous change of pace, he has what it takes to kill any side.

"He's my favourite to watch. Every young kid should watch him, how he moves, how he controls the ball - the ability is unbelievable.

"That's why you sometimes think it may be Argentina's year. The climate is going to be an issue, although many of the top South Americans are playing much of their football in Europe nowadays but they have grown up in that climate.

"But don't rule out Germany, Holland, Spain and Belgium - who were outstanding in Scotland's qualifying group.

"But I'm going for Argentina, they are exciting, and with the weight of expectation on Brazil let's see what that effect has on them."

As for Thursday's opening match between hosts Brazil and Croatia in Sao Paulo, Dailly added: "There's huge pressure on Brazil.

"Croatia are a good side with world class players - all sides in the tournament have world class players. They were unfortunate they came up against a resurgent Scotland team twice during qualifying and were made to look ordinary.

"And this makes me doubt whether they can cope with Brazil. I do think Brazil will win the game, although that's not a definite. But any kind of win will do."

Dailly, who also played for Derby County, Blackburn Rovers and Charlton Athletic among others, says England are well placed to reach the knockout phase.

He went on: "Every tournament they go into, they always have a chance and are capable of beating anyone on their day.

"They tend to qualify convincingly and it's a more exciting team this time than we're used to seeing."