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The Clean Sheets: World Cup Picks

Andrew M. Laird

Andrew M. Laird, a four-time FSWA Award finalist, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and an editor for the site's NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, CBB and DFS content.

Nick Pitner

Nick Pitner writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire. He supports Arsenal FC, the Green Bay Packers, and the New York Knicks, while specializing in those respective sports in his coverage for the site.

We've already discussed each group and now it's time for our full tournament picks. If you're looking for our thoughts on the group stage, here they are:

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon
Group B: Spain, Chile, Netherlands, Australia
Group C: Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Greece
Group D: Uruguay, Italy, England, Costa Rica
Group E: France, Switzerland, Ecuador, Honduras
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria, Iran
Group G: Germany, Portugal, USA, Ghana
Group H: Belgium, Russia, South Korea, Algeria

And without further adieu, here are Nick's picks and some quick thoughts:

- Colombia's home-continent advantage and relentless attack upstages the English, who are thankful to make it out of the Group of Death.

- Bosnia and Herzegovina upset France to cap off a glorious, free-scoring World Cup debut.

- Argentina beats Belgium on penalty-kicks in the tournament's most exciting game.

- Spain's reign of dominance is ended by an Italy side inspired by beloved manager Cesare Prandelli.

- Germany's lack of a natural striker is exposed by Brazil's well-organized defense, leaving them out of the final.

- Brazil beats Argentina 3-2 to claim the World Cup on home soil and add an exclamation point on the month-long celebration.

Top Three Scorers:
1. Lionel Messi
2. Fred
3. Gonzalo Higuain

And Andrew's picks:

- England finish with only three points after defeating Costa Rica but getting rocked by Italy and Uruguay.

- Spain's reign as world champions comes to an abrupt end in the quarterfinals thanks to an Italian side that reminds us once again not to underestimate them on the international stage.

- Bosnia and Herzegovina are the darlings of the group stage, but they fall to France in penalties.

- France picks up the slack left by an injured Franck Ribery to reach the semifinal, but they don't have nearly enough to defeat the hosts.

- Brazil and Argentina meet in the final in what will be considered one of the greatest matches in World Cup history. Lionel Messi reclaims his spot as the world's best player by winning the World Cup and the Golden Boot.

Top Three Scorers:
1. Lionel Messi
2. Neymar
3. Mario Balotelli