Saddlers' star ready for the action to begin...IF YOU didn’t already know, the World Cup gets underway today as football fever grips the nation.
Like the rest of us, Saddlers’ star, James Baxendale, can’t wait for the tournament to get underway.
“The World Cup will certainly be easy on the eye this year,” he insisted. “The better teams are all extremely attack-minded so it makes for a potentially exciting competition in prospect.
“Brazil have the flair, Argentina have the ability, Belgium have some exciting talent and England will be vibrant and hungry.
“I’ve just got this feeling that it’s going to be Lionel Messi’s tournament and he is really going to make an impact on the biggest stage.
“Being patriotic I think England will do well this time, but when picking a winner, it is hard to look beyond Argentina. They have some real talent in their squad and, as I say, Messi will be at the forefront of it all.
“The likes of Holland will also be strong and Germany are always a threat and I expect them to creep under the radar and get far.”
Baxendale is also backing Wayne Rooney to break his World Cup Finals scoring duck.
“Wayne Rooney will do well,” he added without hesitation. “I think that he will score in our opening game against Italy on Saturday and then go from strength-to-strength in the competition.
“I was actually at the quarter-final clash with Portugal in Germany back in 2006 when Rooney was sent off and Cristiano Ronaldo did his now infamous ‘wink’.
“It will be a different story for him this time around and I am expecting him to shoot us far in this tournament.”
So where will Baxendale be watching the games this year?
“I’ll be watching the games with my mates; we’re hoping that the weather will be kind so that we can have a few BBQ’s and enjoy the sun as well as the football.
“It seems such a long time since we last played and since the play-off finals, there has not been much football to watch on TV, so I’m going to be glued to all of the action as it unfolds over the next month.”