In 2018 Gareth Southgate got England within touching distance of their first World Cup final since 1966 but were narrowly defeated by underdogs Croatia. This time around, the Three Lions will look to go one step further and will hope to end a lengthy drought as England fans pray for rain.
The betting odds on England to win the World Cup have come down quite some way, and they now sit, with most football betting sites and bookies, as the fourth favourites to win the tournament in Qatar.
So, just how plausible is an England win in the 2022 World Cup?
There were quite a few players in the running to make it into Southgate’s final 26, and the England coach sure has a lot of very capable players to select from, but a lot will come down to confidence, and it’s fair to say that fans of the national team are getting very used to choking at the death.
In 1990 they lost out to penalties in the semi-final with Germany and did the same in the 1996 European Championships, which they were hosting. They tend to lose the moment they meet one of the big guns, and that’s something that they’ll have to avoid in order to go deep into the tournament.
Their run to the Euro 2020 final proved they are capable of meeting a challenge head-on, and their opening group matches won’t hold much in the way of concern, which may help them to get up a head of steam as the knockout phase gets going.
The likes of the United States, Iran and Wales shouldn’t pose a significant problem, and then they are likely to meet either Ecuador or Senegal in the Round of 16, then the quarter-finals will bring their challenges.
As for England’s squad, they are well prepared and have big tournament experience. 2018 Golden Boot winner Harry Kane will once again be the player that a lot of pressure will be on, and the Tottenham man usually delivers the goods.
Attacking wide players like Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka will be charged with the job of providing the ammunition. Central midfield talents Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice will be exciting to watch at this level, and in-form Leicester City man James Maddison may play a key role, perhaps ahead of Mason Mount of Chelsea.
Defensively Man City’s John Stones is very consistent, but the same can not be said of his likely partner, Man United’s Harry Maguire, though he’s always performed well in an England jersey.
The loss of Reece James through injury is a concern, and it’s likely Kyle Walker won’t be fit to start the opening matches. Trent Alexander Arnold hasn’t been in the best of form, and wide defensive roles will likely be given to Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw, again, two players who always play well for England.
In goal, Jordan Pickford, who is regularly kept busy between the sticks at Everton, may be challenged by Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale as a starter.
England should get to the quarter-finals with a minimum of fuss, but then things can get very tough very quickly. As it stands, they may well meet France at this point, followed by Belgium or Portugal.
Expect nine points from nine in the group phase and then a good run, and we feel the semis is where they are likely to meet their end.
England fans looking to make the most of World Cup betting offers should consider backing Southgate’s side to be eliminated in the semi-final, and you’ll get 9/2 on that eventuality with Grosvenor Sports.
Phil Foden has been in fine goal-scoring form for Man City this season, with eleven goals in 11 Premier League starts, and 66/1 from BoyleSports on the youngster finishing top scorer is very worth considering. Think about how many goals the wide attacker could rack up against Iran and the United States.
As for that opener, Mr Play offers 20/1 on there being exactly six goals scored in the game, which is a bet we’d happily take.