The qualifying rounds are now settled and England came through with a perfect 100% no loss, scoring 18 goals in the process and conceding just 3 from the 10 games played. Perched top of the Group F table they have booked their spot in Russia for the World Cup in 2018. So we now look at the nation’s chances of success in what could be England’s most important spell in a tournament since Italy back in 1990.
Currently, the average odds of England lifting the cup are a healthy 20/1, putting the bet above the likes of Euro Winners Portugal, hosts Russia, Mexico and Poland. Despite squads not being yet announced the bets for Top Goalscorer and Top Assists are being bantered around, but this said, if there was a time to get a good price on the odds, it would be now.
Will Roaring Lions or the Usual bumbling Bulldoggish Approach?
England is ranked 15th in the FIFA list, they have made 14 appearances in the World Cup and lifted the prestigious trophy only once back in ’66. Where do they fair now? Possibly a redundant question. The names of the England squad are dowsed in league trophies and national cup success, so we know they have experience of top football and the awareness of what pressure is and can do. To make a judgement call on England’s success we need to step away from the idea that the Premier League is taking on the world and look at the finer details.
We start with the team and which players can not only influence a game but could get into other national teams. Obvious choices would be Harry Kane 9 appearances in major tournaments with 6 goals and has experienced 1 loss. Gary Cahill, no he may not be the first choice of substitute for other nations but with 18 appearances and a goal to his name, he holds fresh experience and will likely make a great impression in the cup. Raheem Sterling, 14 appearances and 2 goals to his name, brings creative opportunity and pace. Outside of these players could we honestly ask they are world class with the likes of the stars in the Argentine, Brazilian and Spanish squad?
As for performances, despite being undefeated and qualifying first place, it was far from convincing to see the progress up the table. The teams England are pitched with every qualifier ever, are not the cream of the crop and to begin a claim of football dominance with 1-0 victories over the likes of Lithuania and Slovenia, then it would make the 20/1 odd see either very favourable or deluded.
The average half time score for England is 0-0 – This tells us the defence is solid enough but getting a goal in 45 minutes of play is a challenge for them, compared to the likes of Germany who average 2 goals in a first half clearly shows a display of dominance. This makes them clear cup favourites at 5/1 right now.
England for us is a 35/1 shot, we see them taking on the cup group stages with a bit of difficulty and may squeeze through with a 2nd place finish. If they progress to the next stages they would consider themselves to be very fortunate should they reach the quarterfinals. But we are predicting a shock exit by one of the outsider clubs, you heard it here first!