BBC or ITV – who has the best World Cup team on TV?

The Rio Report

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It's been a very rocky few weeks for ITV's World Cup team after Roy Keane's acrimonious walk out and 'that night in Miami' when Adrian Chiles et al sweated it out in the bowels of the stadium during an electrical storm.

Oh, and there was that now famous 'Welcome to Rio!' malarkey as Chiles floundered again to follow very unwelcome rumours of John Terry being signed up to replace Keane.

Having proudly confirmed its final line-up for the World Cup with Gus Poyet and Andros Townsend surprise late additions to their team of experts and pundits a few weeks ago, the latest ITV turmoil has left many fans confused as to what they can expect.

So we, the kind folk of Eurosport, have given you the low-down on each member of the ITV team and compared their line-up with the BBC’s outfit. We've even given each of the pundits a rating on perceived ability.

Enjoy.

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ITV

Adrian Chiles

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Despite being often chided for fumbling his way through links and generally babbling some gibberish about something or other, there is somewhat of strange appeal to him. He is the normal man doing the dream job very badly. It's mildly amusing. However, loses points on account of owing a lot of fans five quid, along with all his other cock-ups and gaffes.

Rating: 5/10

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Patrick Vieira

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Brings an air of calm to proceedings, which is reassuring given the bizarre blunders which regularly blight the channel's coverage, and a certain Gordon Strachan (who features lower down this list). Brings genuine insight too which is also very handy.

Rating: 8/10

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Ian Wright

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A passionate, forthright and honest addition who knows his stuff, so will be at his best when England limp through their group before falling to ignominy at the first knockout stage. Expect plenty of shouting and cheerleading, if that's your thing.

Rating: 7/10

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Glenn Hoddle

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Despite sweating profusely in humid Miami, Hoddle managed to keep his act together admirably. Despite often accused of thinking he's still better than the players in England shirts, his tactical acumen stands out amongst his peers and is a valuable addition.

Rating: 7/10

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Lee Dixon

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While occasionally bland, he remains an insightful pundit, who is willing to 'debate' with other more forthright members of the team. Better still, he was the only man able to keep his composure in the heat of the Miami concrete bowl. Very rarely flustered.

Rating: 7/10

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Gus Poyet

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Big Gus was sacked by Brighton whilst on air at the BBC so probably a wise decision to switch allegiances – this can only be a more positive experience, then. Will he be able to keep his cool when being asked about Sunderland players linked with moves away from the club? We'll have to wait and see.

Rating: 6/10

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Gordon Strachan

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The very dry Scot's punditry, in many ways, mirrors the way he played the game - blessed by genius with the odd bit of aggression thrown in for good measure. Lovely stuff. Not afraid to charge into fellow pundits like a rhino, he's always good value.

Rating: 5/10

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Andros Townsend

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Somewhat of an unknown quantity media-wise but it can be said with some certainty that he will be more popular than namesake and former Ireland hero Andy. What he can really offer in the way of opinion while being a current player is certainly in doubt, though.

Rating: 5/10

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THE BBC

Gary Lineker

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Suave, smooth and sophisticated – he anchors the BBC’s football coverage so well that it can cast their pundits in an unfavourable reflective light. Really should be on the sofa to offer better opinions than his team-mates, but he can't do everything.

Rating: 8/10

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Robbie Savage

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Aha, yes, Mr Savage. Well, it's a good job he's made it to Brazil at all given his ridiculous airport gaffe in which he presented his wife's passport instead of his own, thinking a staff member's confused look was because she was starstruck. Controversial but often seen as nothing more than thinly-veiled trolling, his views often provide very little to back up the blond locks and smug grin.

Rating: 4/10

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Thierry Henry

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His early showings as a pundit indicate that Henry will be a fine signing for the Beeb. However, this is a big gig – or game if you will – and we all know that Henry doesn’t show up for big games. NB: this is a joke!

Rating: 8/10

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Clarence Seedorf

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The best of the lot. A great pundit, who, it appears, finds it easy to breakdown the intricacies of the modern game to your average man - however, he had serious trouble doing the same with the players at Milan before he was sacked. Let's hope he's not still wallowing on our screens.

Rating: 8/10

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Rio Ferdinand

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Ferdinand’s media presence has increased these last few years and his on-field ability to read the game will come in handy - none of the merking seen in 'Rio's World Cup Wind-Ups' prior to the 2006 World Cup, please. The less presenting he does the better.

Rating: 6/10

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Alan Hansen

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This is the veteran pundit's long-awaited swansong, so expect vintage Hansen. Cynical punditry at its best/worst depending on your persuasion. As long as he doesn't make any 'impossible' predictions like this one, he should bow out smoothly.

Rating: 6/10

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Juninho

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If he is as good at picking apart games as he was defences then he is more than okay by us; may require a high chair, though. Honestly, we don't think he will offer much more than polite musings, but you never know - he could yet be the surprise of the tournament.

Rating: 5/10

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Martin Keown

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The rash is back, but, like most rashes, not really wanted – in fairness, his skill set is more commentator than pundit, and he should be used as such. Expect plenty of volatile snaps and long, hard glares. The poor man's confused-looking Keane, if you will.

Rating: 5/10

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Do you agree with our verdicts on each pundit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and what your plan is for watching the World Cup on TV...

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