The World Cup is well underway now and England join the party against Tunisia on Monday evening.
It’s been a long time since the Three Lions had a decent tournament. Only five members of Gareth Southgate’s young squad have played in a World Cup before. Will they be able to deliver on the biggest stage?
England are a 14/1 shot to lift the trophy. They’re not one of the frontrunners, but there’s a sense that this side could acquit themselves very well in Russia.
In several previous tournaments, they’ve been sweating over the fitness of a star player. Think David Beckham in 2002 or Wayne Rooney in 2006. There aren’t any major concerns this time around.
The only slight doubt was Marcus Rashford, but he’s back in training now. Even if he couldn’t feature, he wasn’t likely to start anyway.
The manager has a clear idea of how he wants his team to play. And that can only help.
He’s looking for the back three to build play. The wing-backs provide width, while Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard’s movement forces the opposition back.
Up front will be Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling. Both of them had superb seasons at club level.
England probably won’t win the World Cup (we hope we’re wrong!). But there’s a good foundation in place.
Southgate’s ideas suit the squad. And there’s plenty of talent there. Now it just needs to come together when it counts.
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