All about the England Team at Football World Cup 2018
After a successful qualifying campaign, England will be looking forward to the World Cup in Russia where they have been drawn in Group G together with Belgium, Panama and Tunisia. They will begin the tournament on 18 June when they face Tunisia in Volgograd. Their next match will be against Panama on 24 June in Nizhny Novgorod. They will end their group game four days later when they face Belgium in Kaliningrad. Belgium are the top seeds in this group and England will be aiming to topple them to avoid meeting the group leaders of group H if they do qualify for the next round.
Tips for Betting on England in the World Cup 2018
England are in this World Cup having ended the qualifiers unbeaten. They changed their manager after a dismal showing in Euro 2016 when they were eliminated by minnows Iceland. They will be depending on their prolific striker Harry Kane, one of the most lethal strikers in Europe. England scored a total of 18 goals in the qualification, averaging 1.8 goals per game. This statistic may continue when they meet Panama and Tunisia, which are the lowest ranked teams in the group, so a wise choice for bettors would be betting on England to score at least a goal against these two teams. England also had 169 goal attempts, with 70 being on target, 55 off target, 53 were blocked and 1 hit the woodwork. They also produced 74 corners averaging 7.4 corners per game and has cross completion statistic of 48% – this is a good tip for bettors to have in mind. England also had an effective pass completion accuracy of 89 and had an average possession of 65%. Although they committed 108 fouls, they only received 12 yellow cards, while they suffered 118 fouls during their qualification.
While the qualifying stages did not offer any opposition to write home about, the recent performances against world giants such as Brazil, France and Germany show that England has the potential to challenge the big guns. The friendlies presented an opportunity for the England manager to test out new formations and offer youngsters and fringe players a chance to prove their worth.
While Tunisia and Panama are less likely to offer any major threat to England’s path to the knockout stages, they will have to be fearful of a Belgian side hailed as the Golden Generation of Belgium. With an array of talent that includes players such as Hazard, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Fellaini and Courtois among others, Belgian will provide a stern test. If Kane turns up for the tournament with all guns blazing, he could well be in contention of winning the golden boot should England make it far enough.
Betting Odds on England to Win the World Cup 2018
England had a smooth qualifying campaign, and with most of the players plying their trade in the Premier League, which is considered as the best league in the world, they do have a real chance of going far in Russia. Their success will mostly depend on how their youngsters such as Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford perform. Belgium will prove a real test and whoever wins this group will likely avoid a tricky scenario where they will meet the group winners of group H. England odds before the draw stood at 25/1, but after having been grouped in a relatively easier group, they are now 16/1 to clinch the trophy.
Expected England Lineup at the World Cup
After the draw for the World Cup was finalized in Russia, England manager Gareth Southgate stated that no player was guaranteed an airplane ticket to Russia. He had previously selected three uncapped players to play friendlies against Germany and Brazil. He employed a style in which he used three central defenders, which gave a hint that he may adapt this system which was used by Chelsea with great success when they won the Premier League last season. The England manager reiterated that a lot can change between now and when the World Cup arrives and thus players had to work hard to earn a place in his team. Although there are some certainties to make it to Russia, the pace of development and progress of young players is one to take note of.
Youth players in England are especially buoyant after winning the Under 17 and Under 20 World Cups this year. Young players such as Tammy Abraham of Swansea, Joe Gomez of Liverpool, Ruben Loftus-Cheek received their first call-ups in the November friendlies. Another player to be called upon was Ashley Young, a call-up hinged on his brilliant form at Manchester United. Players who were omitted from the friendlies include Manchester United’s defender Chris Smalling and the Liverpool duo of Daniel Sturridge and Oxlade-Chamberlain. This can be attributed to the players not playing regularly for their clubs, a situation which may change as the World Cup nears. Among the players who have a higher chance of going to Russia include keepers Joe Hart, Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland. Defenders Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Ryan Bertrand, Phil Jones, John Stones and Gary Cahills. Midfielders Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Harry Winks and Danny Drinkwater and strikers Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy.
England conceded just three goals through their whole qualifying campaign. However, Southgate was not entirely convinced with their style of play. He decided to go for three at the back in the last qualifier against Lithuania. England won the match by a solitary goal which meant they went the entire qualifying campaign unbeaten (8 wins and 2 draws). The coaching team felt that to compete at the highest level, they needed a style which would allow them to build play with the ball, while at the same time have stability at the back. This is one of the main reasons Southgate decided to test a new formation.
One of the formations that Southgate used was the 3-4-2-1 system, which Chelsea utilized effectively to win the premier league. The formation has also been used by Spurs and Arsenal. Since a large number of players will come from these three teams, the formation may be used to great effectiveness in Russia. He used this system against Germany and Brazil who are considered some of the heavy favourites to win the World Cup. Although both games ended goalless, there were plenty of positives for England to take from. England youngsters such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek impressed, while John Stones reaffirmed his status as a mainstay in the team. The draw in Russia will have given the manager plenty to ponder and he will be further experimenting with his formation when his side plays friendlies in March against Italy and Netherlands. The final squad is expected to be named in June.
If England are to go far in the competition, then one of the most lethal strikers in Europe will have to be at his best. In this group of players at the disposal of Gareth Southgate, Harry Kane is their best and most important player. He has been in exceptional form for his club and England will be hoping he can replicate his form especially given the absence of Wayne Rooney, who recently retired from international football.
Sterling can be considered a rejuvenated player under the guidance of Pep Guardiola and this will be welcome news to many of England fans. If he can continue his excellent form of providing assists and scoring goals himself, then he and Harry Kane will become a nightmare for any defenders they come against in Russia.