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Jun 5, 2014

Michael Owen: Argentina favourites

Craig Burley and Steve Nicol dissect what Lionel Messi must do at the World Cup to be considered the greatest of all time.

Michael Owen is backing Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero to lead Argentina to glory at the World Cup this summer.

- Angel Di Maria: the man who doesn't run alone

The former England international scored one of his most famous goals in the 1998 World Cup against the Albiceleste, but his solo run and finish could not stop the Three Lions exiting the round-of-16 clash on penalties.

Despite the competition being hosted in Brazil, Owen is backing the two-time winners to lift the trophy on their rivals' home soil due to their "fantastic" supporters and star strikers.

"I believe Argentina are favourites. They have good players throughout the team, but Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi just tip it," Owen told Sportlobster.com.

"It will be extremely difficult for teams to stop these two players from scoring. Argentina are more or less in their own backyard and they are used to the altitude and weather.

"They will also have fantastic support. However, it is the fact they have two of the finest players in the world, which just swings it for me.

"The team may have some defensive concerns, but Argentinians are typically streetwise. I honestly believe they have more quality than the other nations."

The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United forward believes that Belgium can no longer be considered as "dark horses" for the tournament, and has also backed Japan and Uruguay and to enjoy strong competitions.

"Belgium probably aren't dark horses anymore -- it isn't a secret that they have outstanding players," he continued.

"Uruguay are also a decent bet for the World Cup, especially if Luis Suarez fires like he did in the Premier League.

"I believe Japan will have a good tournament. They have an average World Cup group, one or two top class players, they performed well in the Olympics and are always extremely fit.

"I don't think they will progress to the semifinals, but the quarters are a possibility."

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