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Sunday, 1 April 2018

England's World Cup Prospects

As the Russia 2018 World Cup approaches, Gareth Southgate's England are in decent form and look ready for the challenge ahead. Do we allow ourselves to enter 'dare to dream' territory, with ideas that 'this is the one' and that we can sail through each round if only we show determination and have the right approach to play, rightly lifting the World Cup at the end of it? Or perhaps do we instead think that our time in the tournament will be 'same old, same old' as we struggle to beat bog standard competition and limp out of the competition in typically unimpressive fashion? I'd say that this time the jury is out, but expectations aren't exactly sky high.

We have disappointed on one occasion too many really and so if we make it through the group stage we enter firm 'anything is a bonus' territory. At time of writing we're level pegging with impressive Belgium to win the group, at 6/5. Those odds are probably about right, most of them are presented on some online betting sites for the 2018 World Cup. Where are do appear to be something is a dead cert is in our chances of emerging from the group (top two). As suspect as England can be when the going gets tough, it's hard to see how Tunisia and Panama can provide meaningful competition for us. Therefore the 1/7 to qualify likely isn't a particularly bad bet all things considered, even at those odds. We have some top class players and youth throughout the team, so they'll likely still have some spark even though the World Cup is awkwardly placed at the end of a tough Premier League season. Jack Wilshere is injury free, Marcus Rashford has bundles of talent. Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy. This is a team with big names and big talent to match.


Elsewhere in the competition, unsurprisingly both Germany and Brazil are odds-on to win their groups. They're both in top form and at number one and two in the world FIFA football ranking respectively (compared to England's lowly position 16), it's hard to argue that they'll have any trouble going far in the 2018 Russia World Cup. In a future update I'll be sure to comment on the quarter finals and beyond. For now, let's just hope that England make it to that point in the first place! If the team and fans dare to go to Russia of course!

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