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The phrase 'there or thereabouts' was invented to allow pundits to back a team to win a tournament while also not backing them to win a tournament.

Before any major competition, a number of teams will be tipped to finish 'there or thereabouts'.

Teams that can be tipped to finish 'there or thereabouts' include England, Argentina, Spain, France, Italy, Holland and, primarily, Germany. Any predictions relating to Germany will always be prefaced by the assertion that this 'isn't a classic German side' and that 'you can never discount the Germans.'

It is unusual for Brazil to be tipped to finish 'there or thereabouts', largely because of their tendency to finish 'there'.

The attraction of the phrase lies in its vagueness. The likes of Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen are able to make a swathe of predictions that can never be proven to be incorrect.

For example, a pundit stating that 'Argentina will be there or thereabouts' can claim to have been correct even if the hugely talented South Americans lose at the semi-final stage. If Argenina go on the win the competition, they are still right. Similarly, as this prediction doesn't state the team in question will win the competition, many teams can be labelled in this way, covering all but the most ludicrous eventualities.

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