Lifestyle Sport

What are England’s chances at the World Cup?

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

With the World Cup coming up next summer, we look at how England will fare in Russia.

England should head to the World Cup full of optimism after breezing through qualification. But fans who have followed them through thick and thin know better.

Despite a strong domestic league and any number of excellent players, a run to the semi-finals in 1990 is the best they have to show for their efforts since the heady days of 1966 glory.

However, after failing to get out of the group stage in Brazil and the debacle that was Euro 2016, the only way is up. And if you fancy a flutter on the World Cup check out for the best sites available.

The big positive for manager Gareth Southgate is that he does have a number of excellent young players at his disposal.

Talisman Kane

Harry Kane will be key to their chances as it is clear the Tottenham man is the top English striker at present. The 24-year-old is in red-hot form and, although he failed to shine at last year’s European Championship, has 12 international goals from 23 appearances.

He was starved of service in France and will hope his club partnership with Dele Alli will thrive in England colours.

The young Spurs midfielder has been linked with clubs like Real Madrid such is his prowess in the centre of the park, and surely it will be his time to shine next summer. He is the driving force in midfield and a player who Southgate can build the side around.

The form of England’s full-backs was one saving grace at Euro 2016. So Danny Rose and Kyle Walker will be vital at the World Cup. Kane thrives on crosses and both are attack-minded players who provide a threat down the flanks. It should be an area in which they can prosper.

Defenders of the realm

With matches likely to be tight, a sound defence is key. Southgate will need to decide his best combination as the talented trio of John Stones, Harry Maguire and Michael Keane are all options.

A reliable goalkeeper is essential but Joe Hart has struggled in recent times and may not start. Jack Butland’s name has been thrown around and the Stoke shot-stopper is doing everything possible at club level to aid his cause.

England are unlikely to win the World Cup. But if Southgate can get them playing as they do in the Premier League, then there is a chance they might ruffle a few feathers.