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The World Cup is just days away now and the 32 countries that have made the tournament are readying themselves for the biggest competition in the world.
There is one country that has had plenty of years of hurt and will want stop them sooner rather than later. That country is obviously England who have failed to win the tournament since 1966 when they won it on home soil against West Germany.
As always England head into the tournament as one of the favourites; according to new betting sites for the world cup. However, will they be able to show the world why they are expected to progress far into the tournament.
Life under Southgate
England have a pool of talent like no other. With the Premier League possibly the best league in the world, English talent is able to thrive and rise through into the first team squad of the clubs. England manager Gareth Southgate has plenty to choose from and he chose the 26 man squad last week to minimal fuss.
Having taken the England job from Sam Allardyce in 2016 Southgate has performed as well, if not better, than many managers that have come before him. England have made both tournaments under Southgate making the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of the 2020 European Championships.
However, there are still critics about how Southgate sets up, his defensive attitude and inability to change games with is substitutions in big games.
What are the real expectations?
With England taking so many talented players it would be hard to not expect them to make the semifinals but their recent record since the loss to Italy in the European Championship final has been very poor. England faced minnows and brushed them aside but when the nation played their Nations League campaign they failed to record a single win and suffered a humiliating 4-0 home defeat to Hungary.
With no warm up games due to the World Cup being held in the winter, England will have to be at the races and a unit together as opposed to the ramshackle bunch we have seen since June this year.
England do have the talent with Harry Kane leading the line, Declan Rice marshalling the midfield and England veterans littered about the pitch in Raheem Sterling, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Kyle Walker and Jordan Pickford.
The issue that England have is the form these players head into a tournament with. However, these concerns could be eradicated once they pull on the famous three lion’s shirt against Iran next week.
Looking at England then and their group, it is no easy task to break down a stubborn Iran, outwit a up and coming USA nor will it be easy to take on a rival in a tournament as Wales have finally returned to the World Cup stage. Getting out of the group is a must but making the quarter finals should be a minimum for this England side.