2018 World Cup Preview – England

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England qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the sixth successive time after coming through their European group relatively unscathed.

They will look to add to their one World Cup win 52 years ago with a young squad littered with talent from the local English Premier League.

England World Cup Betting Markets

Stage of Elimination

  • Group Stage @ $5.00
  • Round of 16 @ $2.80
  • Quarter Final @ $3.40
  • Semi Final @ $6.00
  • Runners-Up @ $12.00
  • Winners @ $15

Draw

Group:

England have been drawn in Group G alongside Belgium, Panama and Tunisia.

Opponents:

Record vs Belgium – W: 15, D: 4, L:2

Last Meeting – 2 June 2012: England def Belgium 2-0

Record vs Panama – Never Played

Record vs Tunisia – W: 1, D: 1, L0

Last Meeting – 15 June 1998: England def Tunisia 2-0 (FIFA World Cup)

Schedule:

Tuesday 19 June – 4:00am – England vs Tunisia

Sunday 24 June – 10:00pm – England vs Panama

Friday 29 June – 4:00am – England vs Belgium

Group Ranking:

There is a clear disparity between the haves and have nots in this group with England ($1.14) and Belgium ($1.06) at very short odds to qualify for the knockout stage.

To win the group outright they are second favourites at $2.25 and that will come down to their third match against Belgium.

If the results follow the form guide that will be for top spot in the group and that could prove key as the winner will avoid the winner of Group H.

Overall, England are the second best side in this group just a touch behind Belgium in terms of quality but that final game is one worth getting up for.

Back England To Win Group G @ $2.25

World Cup History

Number of Appearances

14 – 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014.

Best Performance

Champions – 1966 (Defeated West Germany 4-2 in the Final)

Match Record & Goals Tally

Played: 62, Won: 26, Drawn 20, Lost: 16.

Scored: 79, Conceded: 56.

2018 Qualifying Campaign

Made the World Cup by…

England finished on top of UEFA Qualifying Group F giving them direct passage through to Russia.

Qualifying Record & Goals Tally

Played: 10, Won: 8, Drawn: 2, Lost: 0

Scored: 18, Conceded: 3

England were impressive at home in their campaign to reach Russia, winning all five games and conceding just one goal. Away draws against Slovenia and Scotland did slow their momentum at times during the campaign however it would not slow their momentum as they ultimately did what was asked of them.

Story to Watch

England are opting to go with youth at this tournament, selecting a squad with an average age of 26 years and 18 days on the day of their first match. Only five players are left over from their group stage exit in 2014 and ten from their Euro 2016 humiliation at the hands of Iceland.

England 2018 World Cup Squad

GOALKEEPERS

Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope

DEFENDERS

Kyle Walker, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Trent Alexander-Arnold

MIDFIELDERS

Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabien Delph

FORWARDS

Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling

Strengths

England’s attacking group will go a long way to determining their success in the World Cup.

Their two leading strikers in Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy enter the World Cup in remarkable form after going head to head in the final game of the Premier League season.

Their secondary goalscorers have plenty of potential to them too with the likes of Dele Alli, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Marcus Rashford all capable of popping up with a goal as well.

If they, in particular Kane, can produce similar to club level then England will be in for a deep run.

Weakness

While England’s attack is being lead by a world class player, their defence and goalkeeper stocks are worth having question marks over.

Joe Hart and his 75 caps have been left at home, with Burnley’s Nick Pope preferred by Gareth Southgate.

Jordan Pickford will be given the first chance in the opening game and is seen as a promising option but it will be his first meaningful action for the English side.

His Premier League form has been impressive however this will be a totally different beast.

Notable Absentees

Joe Hart is the biggest name to be left out of the squad after an indifferent season with West Ham while Arsenal’s Jack Wilshire has been left out due to injury.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move to Liverpool has not resulted in a World Cup berth either.

Key Player

Harry Kane

The Tottenham Hotspur striker came up with several key goals during the campaign including the goal which sealed England’s progression.

His remarkable finishing ability makes him a threat to score from just about anywhere on the pitch.

Not to mention his record in Europe shows he can produce against some of the toughest opponents in the world.

If you like England to make a deep run in the tournament, Kane will be a big factor.

Back Harry Kane as Top Goalscorer @ $17

Final Prediction

England have more than enough talent to get out of their group and into the knockout stages.

From there it very much comes down to knockout phase match-ups and how the other groups shake out.

At some point they will get to a game where something just does not click, and the team comes home without a trophy once more.

PREDICTION: QUARTER FINALS

Best Bet: England to be Eliminated in the Quarter Finals @ $3.40