- Brendan Rodgers beginning to doubt whether Mario Balotelli is technically good enough for Liverpool [Mail]
- Wenger on why Sanchez chose Arsenal over Liverpool: ‘Simple. Champions League continuity’ [Star]
- Man City boss Pellegrini: ‘All 3 strikers (Aguero, Dzeko, Jovetic) are out for Crystal Palace’ [Video]
- Divock Origi set to join up with Liverpool in Jan, Rodgers & co to pay Lille €6m extra [L'Equipe]
- Chelsea’s Oscar has ‘Family Fitness Day’ with his wife and sister…
BETTING SPECIAL: England are 66/1 to win the World Cup (+ £88 free bets & £5 NO LOSE mobile bet)
OK. We know.
England to win the 2014 World Cup seems like a long shot, but thanks to our good friends at 888.com, you can now get unbelievably good odds of 66/1 for the Three Lions to scoop top honours in Brazil this summer.
For the record, even if England don’t win the tournament, 888.com will ALSO give you £88 free bets plus a £5 NO LOSE mobile bet.
And for all the naysayers, here are a few reasons why England can do the business in Brazil.
1. 1966 is repeating itself in 2014
Take stock of this incredible set of facts.
In 1966, the year of England’s sole World Cup victory, Austria won Eurovision, AC Milan and Manchester United missed out on Europe, Atletico Madrid won La Liga, and Real Madrid won the European Cup.
Notice a pattern?
2. Luis Suarez’s injury has given England fresh hope
A few weeks back many people would have argued that England wouldn’t even escape their group, let alone get close to winning the World Cup, but all of a sudden that narrative has changed.
Despite being pitted against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in the groups, there is fresh belief that Roy Hodgson’s side finish in the top two spots, and much of that optimism has coincided with Luis Suarez’s health status.
Suarez, Uruguay’s star man, is unlikely to be in fit for the World Cup after going under the knife for a knee problem, and that has made the upcoming match against the South Americans look entirely winnable.
Get through the groups, and anything can happen.
3. England’s opponents in the last-16 also look beatable
By the time you get into the last-16 of the World Cup there are no easy matches, however England will also know they have avoided the short straw.
England’s opponents in the last-16 would come from Group C, and fortunately for Roy Hodgson’s side, that group fails to include any of world’s football’s big boys.
Whilst England could draw the Ivory Coast, Greece, Japan or Colombia, none of those teams should strike fear into the Three Lions.
Get through the last-16, and anything can happen.
4. England’s young blood, no expectations
Another reason why England could do well in Brazil is the combination of fresh faces in the squad, plus a distinct lack of expectations on the team to do well.
Raheem Sterling, Luke Shaw, Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should take to the pitch with the youthful exuberance which has been lacking for so long in the not-so-glory-days of England’s supposed Golden Generation.
5. You know what. England’s players are pretty decent actually!
Defensively and offensively, there is plenty to get quietly excited about with England.
At the back, in Joe Hart, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka, England have a defence cherry-picked from the teams with the best defensive record in the Premier League (Man City, Chelsea and Everton respectively).
Moreover, in Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge we have a front line composed of players from the Premier League’s more impressive offensive team, Liverpool.
Could they gel together? Why not.
- Updated: May 29, 2014