The England national team have been waiting to lift the World Cup trophy for 52 years now. The Three Lions have managed to win the Jules Rimet Trophy back in 1966, but after that they didn’t have much success in the Coupe de Monde.Will England finally lift the World Cup trophy this summer?
At the previous championship held in Brazil in 2014, England didn’t manage to progress from the group stage, finishing behind Costa Rica, Uruguay and Italy, with a single point and two goals scored on their tally.
Once again, just like on previous occasions, the expectations of the fans are quite high, but we are still to see whether Gareth Southgate’s squad can take the rich vein of form from the qualifiers, where they finished first in the group, with 18 scored and only 3 conceded goals, into the tournament finals.
Red-hot Harry Kane will definitely be the leader of the team in Russia. The Tottenham Hotspur star has already scored 21 goals in the Premier League, and he netted five times in his six appearances in the Russia 2018 qualifying.
The biggest support in the attack will be Raheem Sterling, who is playing the best football of his career this season, having taken his tally to 14 Premier League goals, but the likes of Alli, Vardy and Rashford will also pose a threat to opposition defences.
England’s biggest problem in the past was the defensive line, but it seems that Southgate has managed to fill in all the gaps, since his team conceded only three goals in the qualifiers. The biggest question will be who will be the starting goalkeeper, since Joe Hart is out of form, and we have yet to see whether Southgate will turn to Pickford, Butland or Forster.
At first glance, Tunisia and Panama seem as easy opponents in the group stage and the final group match against Belgium is likely to determine who will finish top of the group. In the knockout stages, anything is possible, but, hopefully, Lady Luck will be on the side of the Three Lions this time out. The price on England to win the World Cup in Russia next summer is 16/1 with bet365 (accurate as of 23rd January 2018).