Speaking in a Q&A with fans, Henrikh Mkhitaryan named his favourites to win the World Cup this summer, but left out two major contenders for the competition.
In quotes reported by Armenian outlet 168hours, Mkhitaryan admitted it was too difficult to pick just one favourite, before naming his three.
“I think all teams have prepared well,” he said. “There is no main favorite. But my favorites are three – Spain, France and Argentina.”
Although not completely outlandish choices, Mkhitaryan’s picks do exclude the bookies’ favourites for the competition: Brazil and Germany. Admittedly, Spain, France and Argentina make up the remainder of the top five with bookmakers.
Arsenal teammate Mesut Özil will be very hopeful of repeating his 2014 success with his country, but clearly the Armenian isn’t so sure about the 29-year-old’s chances. For now, the main battle for the German is getting fit in time for the competition though. Without him, perhaps his country’s chances of back-to-back wins would take a hit.
In the end, differing opinions on who has the best chance at winning the competition is what makes it fun to watch in the first place.
If the winner is one of Mkhitaryan’s picks, from an Arsenal point of view let’s hope it’s Spain. Nacho Monreal would certainly return for the new season with a spring in his step. I don’t think I could take watching France lift the trophy knowing Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny were sitting at home.