England World Cup betting guide: Preview, predictions & can the Three Lions win it?

England World Cup betting preview

England and football are a strange mixture. The country where the Beautiful Game was founded seems to have so many difficulties when playing their trade on the global stage.

The Three Lions famously won the World Cup in 1966 on home soil but since then, there has been heartbreak after misery after pain and sorrow.

England have won just one knockout match in their past five international tournaments. A simply damning stat.

Analysing the England World Cup betting markets

There is no two ways about it, the England World Cup betting markets reflect reality.

Of course, there will be plenty of jingoistic bets placed in the coming days on the Three Lions, but is is pretty obvious that there are at least four better sides than England at the World Cup.

Nevertheless, there are some great offers for England World Cup betting.

For example, Harry Kane to finish as top goal scorer will not seem so crazy if the Spurs man bangs in the goals against Panama and Tunisia.

Whilst there are so many markets on England World Cup betting that there is sure to be a few chances offered to punters to win some money, even if the Three Lions have a disappointing tournament.

Can England win the World Cup?!

The English fans have dealt with distressing penalty shoot-out failures and embarrassing losses to nations such as Iceland.

But every two years, when a tournament comes around, the same question is asked: “Can we win it?”

England were absolutely appalling in Brazil four years ago as they failed to win a single match in the group stage.

Gareth Southgate is aiming to take England past the round of 16 for the first time in 12 years.

England’s qualification campaign began back in September 2016 against Slovakia. This match was Sam Allardyce’s first and last match in charge of the national team before he was sacked and disgraced for taking fake bribes from journalists.

Gareth Southgate took the reign from thereon forward and The Three Lions ended their qualification campaign undefeated.

England’s top qualifying moments to reach World Cup 2018! – video

The England squad

England’s rather excellent announcement of their World Cup squad shocked many as some key names were left out.

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Trent Alexander Arnold (Liverpool), John Stones (Manchester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Fabian Delph (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace)

Forwards: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

Fans were shocked as Jack Wilshere, who is often one of England’s best players was left out of the squad whilst Chris Smalling also failed to make the cut.

Joe Hart was less of a surprise to be omitted from the team after his unconvincing season with West Ham.

Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain missed out through injury.

England’s key men: Kane, Walker & Sterling

Harry Kane

Harry Kane

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his sides second goal and his 100th Premier League goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on February 4, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Kane is one of the most feared strikers on the planet and was one of the Premier League’s best players yet again this season.

The Tottenham talisman scored 30 times in the league last term whilst netting 7 in the Champions League and 4 in the FA Cup.

England strikers haven’t always performed at the World Cup but The Three Lions’ hopes in Russia more or less lie with captain and talisman Harry Kane.

Hopefully he won’t be on corners this time around…

Kyle Walker

ENFIELD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 03: John Stones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kyle Walker and Dele Alli of England walk onto the pitch during an England training session on the eve of their World Cup qualifier against Slovakia at Tottenham Hotspur FC Training Ground on September 3, 2017 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)


Kyle Walker has a fantastic first season at Manchester City this year. The 27 year old won a domestic double of the Premier League and Carabao Cup at the Etihad after switching from Tottenham in the summer.

Walker picked up six assists in the Premier League this season from right back but has been played in a different position by Southgate.

Southgate has utilised Walker as a right sided centre back in a defensive three many times during the past year.

The Sheffield-born defender has coped in this role very well and will hopefully excel once again in Russia.

Raheem Sterling

Sterling Manchester City Man City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on November 29, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)


Raheem Sterling has divided opinion ever since his first season at Liverpool.

Many believed that he wasn’t worth the £50 million that Manchester City paid for him back in 2015 but this season, he has certainly proved them wrong.

Sterling scored 23 goals and picked up 17 assists for Pep Guardiola’s team during the 2017/18 campaign and was one of the players of the season.

If Sterling can continue his fine form in Russia, England could go further than expected.

How far can England go?

England have been drawn in Group G alongside Belgium, Panama and Tunisia.

The Three Lions begin their World Cup campaign in Volgograd where they face Tunisia. It is absolutely vital that England start their tournament off well as any bumps could prove to be detrimental.

England have drawn or lost their opening match in seven of their last eight tournaments. Their only opening match win this century came in 2006 against Paraguay.

After the Tunisia match, England then travel to Nizhny Novgorod where they will face Panama. If England can win their opening two matches, they will qualify for the knockout rounds before their final match against Belgium in Kaliningrad.

England’s match against Belgium looks set to be one of the best at the tournament.

Realistically, England should have no difficulty in progressing from the group stage although they may finish behind Belgium in second.

If England finish first, they will face the runners up of Group H but if they finish second, they will face that group’s winners.

Group H contains Poland, Colombia, Senegal and Japan; all of whom are beatable but nothing is ever certain with England.

If England were to progress past the last 16, they would be likely to face either Brazil or Germany in the quarter final.

An optimistic fan could predict that England will reach the quarter finals which would be a great achievement for the young squad. But we think that England may struggle once again and get knocked out in the last 16 by either Poland or Colombia (probably on penalties).

Why England will win the World Cup: 10 reasons

1: England’s balanced back 3

 

In recent matches under Gareth Southgate, England appear to have found a system that works for the players he has available and this has created a balanced team.

The 3-4-3 system that England have deployed in the last four friendly games has produced 1 win and 3 draws,  against top quality opposition.

Germany, Brazil, Holland and Italy all struggled against the Three Lions which seems to suggest that, maybe, England could once again be a force.

2: England’s competition for places

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 05: Despair for Derby County players as Jesse Lingard of Manchester United (C) celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Manchester United and Derby County at Old Trafford on January 5, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)


In previous unsuccessful tournaments one problem may have been complacency with players knowing they’re guaranteed a starting place.

However, especially in attacking areas, this isn’t the case this time.

Although Harry Kane is surely going to be the number 9, the two inside forward positions behind him are completely up for grabs.

Having scored 23 goals and set up 17 for Manchester City teammates this season, Raheem Sterling’s form means he warrants a place in Southgate’s XI, but there is a national debate who should take up the other.

Marcus Rashford has proved his quality playing on the left, notably in a 2-1 win over Liverpool in which he scored twice but the two front runners are Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard.

Alli has had a difficult season at Spurs whereas Lingard has flourished at Manchester United under Mourinho’s defensively minded team scoring 13 goals and surely the tactics will mean a similar role for England.

This may be providing Gareth Southgate with headaches but they are the sort of headaches he would like to have going into a major tournament.

3: Harry Kane

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 13: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium on May 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)


All top teams have a prolific centre forward and England certainly have that.

Harry Kane has been outstanding for Tottenham Hotspur this season scoring 38 goals in 45 games as well as 5 in 4 for England, building on his excellent season last year.

This will be his first World Cup and his first chance to shine on the world stage.

Can Kane do it and so fire England to glory in Russia?

4: It’s in Europe

10 World Cups have taken place in Europe and 9 of those have been won by a European team.

The only exception was back in 1958 when Brazil triumphed in Sweden but neither they or anybody else from outside Europe have been able to be crowned World Champions in tournaments on this continent.

If this trend is to continue could it be England’s turn to rule the world again in Russia?

5: Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 06: Vincent Kompany of Manchester City lifts the Premier League Trophy as Manchester City celebrate winning the Premier League after the Premier League match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at Etihad Stadium on May 6, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)


In 2010 Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona won La Liga and Spain won the World Cup.

Four years later Guardiola’s Bayern Munich side won the Bundesliga and Germany were crowned World Champions.

So, with his Manchester City side winning the Premier League title for the first time under him this season it’s a certainty that England will win the World Cup this summer, right?!

6: England’s strong qualification

Harry Kane celebrates goal v Slovenia

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 05: Harry Kane of England (L) celebrates as he scores their first goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Group F Qualifier between England and Slovenia at Wembley Stadium on October 5, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)


Although England usually qualify for major finals with relative ease, this qualification campaign was particularly impressive.

England won eight of their ten games conceding just three goals, two of which were wonder free kicks by Scotland’s Leigh Griffiths at Hampden Park.

Only Spain’s defensive record in qualifying compares to England’s which could stand Southgate’s side in good stead.

7: England’s favourable draw

Unquestionably the draw has been kind to England.

They will face Belgium in their final Group Game but should be merely to decide who tops Group G.

First, the Three Lions will take on Panama and Tunisia in winnable looking games which would see them into the knockout stages for the first time since 2010.

The way the draw has panned out could also benefit them in the last 16 as well.

Assuming England progress, they will face one of Columbia, Japan, Senegal and Poland.

Although Poland and Columbia could be difficult opposition they won’t face a world heavyweight in the first knockout round as they did in South Africa when they were knocked out by Germany.

If all goes to plan, once in the quarter finals you never know…

8: Unscarred youngsters

There has been much upheaval in the England team and it looks as though there will be 13 new faces to the 23-man squad that travelled to France for Euro 2016.

The likes of Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire and Jesse Lingard are all set to start despite this being their first ever major tournament may prove beneficial as they aren’t haunted by previous catastrophic campaigns.

Also, after the Under-17s won the Euros and the Under 20s won the World Cup there must be a good feeling around the England camp so can they continue that into the real thing?

9: No pressure

Usually when a major finals comes around, the British press build England up to be an unstoppable all conquering force before the team goes out with a whimper.

However, after terrible displays in Brazil and France expectancy levels must surely be greatly reduced meaning that there is a lot less pressure on the players to succeed then there has been for a long time.

The fact that the massive weight of expectation has been lifted from their shoulders may allow these talented group of individuals to shine and maybe surprise us all.

10: It’s about time!

After 52 years of hurt, surely the law of averages suggests that it’ll be England’s time again, right?!

Since England lifted the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley in 1966, six different countries have won the World Cup and 9 nations have been crowned European champions.

So after heartbreaking defeat after heartbreaking defeat it must be England’s year again.

Excellent Copa 90 video documentaries on the England national team

England & The Media – Time To Change The Toxic Relationship? With Raheem Sterling, Alli & Walker

“Let This Be The New England” – With Sterling, Walker, Alli + Lallana

Related: Golden Ball betting guide: World Cup 2018 FIFA player of the tournament odds.

Golden Boot betting guide: World Cup 2018 top goalscorer odds.

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Back England to win the World Cup at 18/1!