Southgate and England primed for improvement
Source: FIFAWorldCup via Twitter
England manager Gareth Southgate has avoided the pitfalls of his predecessors by selecting players in form and fit for his side`s 2018 World Cup campaign. The Three Lions had fallen into the trap of previously taking players to major competitions who were either struggling for fitness or form - although sometimes both have been the case for certain members of the team.
As a result, there is optimism at least for an improvement from England`s last two performances at the World Cup. The Three Lions were hammered in 2010 against Germany in the second round of the competition, while, in 2014, Roy Hodgson`s team failed to emerge from the group stage, failing to win a match. Therefore, the only way is up for Southgate and his squad.
England have fairly narrow odds to reach the quarter-final stage, with the best value obtained from Bet365 at 5/6. The Three Lions have been handed a fairly routine task to advance from their group
, being placed alongside Tunisia and Panama along with Belgium. The first two teams should see them advance without a great deal of difficulty, with Roberto Martinez`s men posing the only issue.
That should only affect England`s position in the group, whether it be first or second. It would send them into a showdown with potentially Poland or Colombia in the second round. Despite the pedigree of both teams, Southgate will fancy his team`s chance to progress to the last eight. From then, the competition would enter the difficult phase with Brazil or Germany probably on the cards.
Although both opponents are daunting, it`s a one-off match and neither side are completely imperious. Therefore an outside bet on England to reach the semi-finals could pay dividends given the longer odds. By signing to a betting company using the latest World Cup free bets and betting offers
betters could save an outlay on the punt, with something like Betfair`s £100 bet bundle. There would be no pressure on the Three Lions in the latter stages so there`s no reason why they would not be capable of pulling off at least one upset.
Source: Sky Sports News via Twitter
With Harry Kane in the final third there`s always at least a puncher`s chance
of nabbing a goal in the final third. The World Cup will see a plethora of attacking players to display their talents, featuring the usual suspects of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. Kane has enhanced his reputation in England once again with another fine campaign for Tottenham, while he also made an impression in the Champions League. However, to join the upper echelons of world-class players, he needs an elite performance at the World Cup. Thomas Muller has proved it can be done with a stellar effort for Germany in 2010 to make his breakthrough on the international stage.
Kane will have support, which will be the crucial factor. Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling are all entering the tournament off the back of good seasons in the Premier League. Jamie Vardy also had a fine campaign for Leicester, scoring 20 goals. Marcus Rashford has the potential to overcome his underwhelming term for Manchester United. There`s promise there for Southgate and enough to improve on past failings.