Once again, qualifying to the major tournament was a formality for the Three Lions, with England booking their place at Russia without any hassle. And, since that confirmation, there has been some quiet optimism given the quality that some players in the squad possess.
Here at OpenOdds were are committed to providing you with a real insight into the World Cup 2018 England team, looking in detail at how they reached Russia, the group they are in, star players and also providing you with England betting odds and establishing whether they do actually have a chance this summer.
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England prediction: How well will they do?
Firstly, you have to say that England were handed a very nice draw considering they were second seeds, and they will also be confident of making the latter stages of the competition for reasons we will touch on later.
Gareth Southgate’s men will play Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G with Belgium the obvious class act in the group.
The European outfit boast several top quality players such as Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, along with many more, who all ply their trade in the Premier League so there will be no danger of England not knowing what they are up against.
Whilst that could be a problem against CONCACAF and CAF representatives Panama and Tunisia, in reality they should pose little threat to England. For Panama, they are a World Cup 2018 participant for the very first time.
Therefore, the Three Lions should really be guaranteed second place as a minimum, with the game against Belgium likely to decide who tops the group.
Given the quality of Belgium, they will be favourites to beat England in the game, which is the final group game, being played in Kaliningrad.
With that in mind, here at OpenOdds we are recommending your best bet regarding England is for the team to finish second in Group G.
Another reason for that bet is even if Belgium and England drew the final game, they would be separated by goal difference. Belgium’s more attacking style and quality in the final third should see them beat the other two sides more convincingly than England.
Therefore, the only way we see England topping the group is by beating Roberto Martinez’s men and that’s a big ask.
Backing England to finish second is currently a best-price 5/4 with Marathon Bet. (Group G To Finish 2nd Betting Odds | Football)
However, even if they do finish second, there is reason for hope. With the way that the World Cup works, the runners up from Group G will be in line to play the winners from Group H.
In that group are Colombia, Poland, Japan and Senegal, which is very tough to call. Either way, England will fancy their chances against whoever does win that group in the round of 16.
That leads us on to our second recommended bet for England, which is for the Three Lions to reach the quarter-final, which is currently a best price 4/5 with SkyBet.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling particularly optimistic, then you may be interested in England to win World Cup odds and they are a best-price 18/1 with Betway Obviously that is a big ask, but we think that it’s highly likely they can make the quarter-finals and as we know, anything can happen in the latter stages of the competition.
Journey to the World Cup — Who did England beat to qualify?
As touched upon, England had a relatively straightforward UEFA qualifying campaign, topping a group containing Slovakia, Slovenia, Scotland, Lithuania and Malta.
Sam Allardyce was in charge for the first game before he was sacked and replaced by Gareth Southgate, with England winning eight and drawing two of their ten games.
They deserve huge credit for the ease in which they qualified, although performances weren’t always amazing.
The 2-2 draw against Scotland required a last-minute equaliser, whilst a late goal also helped see off Slovenia in the final game.
Southgate’s men only managed 18 goals in the 10 games which isn’t great considering the standard of opposition.
Best players for England: Who should you be betting on?
The clear standout player for England is Harry Kane. The Tottenham striker has continued his remarkable form in the Premier League this season, with 25 goals to his name. Only the insane form of Mo Salah is likely to stop Kane winning his third consecutive golden boot, which is a remarkable feat.
Given that, he has to be heavily considered by any of the punters out there who are interested in a top scorer bet, with Kane a best-price 20/1 at the minute with Unibet. (World Cup Top Goalscorer Betting Odds | Football)
Another factor that makes him appealing is the games against Tunisia and particularly Panama provide England with an opportunity to score some a lot of goals and we’ve already highlighted how the goal difference could be key.
As they are the first two games there’s also no danger of Kane being rested for the knockout rounds. Additionally, he also takes the penalties.
A quarter final or last 16 exit may harm his chances, otherwise it’s easy to see Kane scoring enough goals to have a real chance.
Other key players that will look to make an impact are Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker, who have both enjoyed fantastic campaigns for the Premier League winners.
Who manages England?
Gareth Southgate is the England manager and it’s fair to say his appointment was not initially greeted with much enthusiasm.
The former Middlesbrough player had a spell as manager with the north east club as manager and they actually suffered relegation under his guidance.
However, he went on to do a very good job with the U21 side where they regularly qualified for the major tournaments, even if they didn’t win them.
Since taking charge of the seniors though, Southgate has done very well. He has encouraged a more pleasing style of play, with defenders capable of bringing the ball out from the back, whilst the team have impressed in recent friendlies against high-profile opposition.
Why bet on England?
England have famously won the World Cup once before and whilst this World Cup England team 2018 doesn’t have the same quality and class all over the pitch as previous sides, they should at least offer hope.
Several players have enjoyed successful club seasons with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs who are all doing well and they will hope to replicate that form on the biggest stage.
In terms of quality, there are better teams out there, but Southgate has developed a quick, exciting England team with individuals who can make the difference.
The draw has been favourable and the pathway to the latter stages of the competition seems very clear, so England fans have every right to be quietly optimistic. And with Betway offering odds of 16/1 of England winning the 2018 World Cup, it’s clear that it could be quite a year for English football fans.
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