WorldCupAcca Confirmed Squad:
Keeper: J.Butland, J. Pickford, N.Pope
Defence: T.Alexander-Arnold, G.Cahill, F.Delph, P.Jones, H.Maguire, D.Rose, J.Stones, K.Trippier, K.Walker, AYoung
Midfield: D.Alli, E.Dier, J.Henderson, J.Lingard, R.Loftus-Cheek
Forward: H.Kane, M.Rashford, R.Sterling, J.Vardy, D.Welbeck
Taking over from Sam Allardyce in 2016, Gareth Southgate has led England to their 6th consecutive finals and their 15th overall.
Other than winning in 1966 and reaching the semi finals in 1990, England have a very average record in the World Cup for a team that is considered as one of the biggest footballing nations, generally exiting in the quarters or round of 16.
England’s recent tournament performances have been a big disappointment as well. Four years ago in Brazil, England finished bottom of their group picking up just one point and at Euro 2016 they were eliminated by minnows Iceland.
England’s qualifying campaign was straight forward, finishing unbeaten in a fairly easy group, they conceded just 3 goals, 2 of which were against Scotland.
In recent friendly matches against some big teams, they have secured some impressive results such as draws with Germany, Brazil and Italy as well as a victory over Netherlands, Nigeria and Costa Rica.
WorldCupAcca The Squad:
England are coming into the squad with a young squad and are playing a relatively new system to them. There are question marks over their first choice keeper, with Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland both in contention to be the number 1 keeper, the Everton man is likely to start the opening game against Tunisia.
Lining up with 3 central defenders and 2 wing backs – Kyle Walker, John Stones and either Phil Jones or Gary Cahill will be the back 3.
Kieran Trippier should start on the right wing, whilst on the left hand side it’s a pick between Ashley Young and Danny Rose, the former has had a very good season for Manchester United but Danny Rose is probably the better option, particularly in this system, though he hasn’t played that much this year.
Southgate has recently said that either Eric Dier or Jordan Henderson would start as his “pivot” player, it’s a toss up between them really, Dier is a better fit as a holding player. There will be 3 attacking midfielders, Raheem Sterling is the only certainty, Dele Alli hasn’t had the best season with Spurs but would most likely still be a starter and Jesse Lingard will also likely start, he has a history of performing in big games and regularly plays well for the national team.
Harry Kane will of course lead the line and is England only truly world class player, he has 108 goals for Spurs in just 150 appearances and 13 in 24 for England, if England are going to get anywhere in the competition he will need to have a good tournament.
In back up to Kane, Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy are both very good options who will pose a threat and can offer versatility should England adjust their system through the tournament.
WorldCupAcca The Group:
England should be getting out of the group but will most likely settle for 2nd place, which would see them face Colombia in the next round.
Belgium are arguably the best team in world football, with quality in virtually every area and could be genuine contenders to win the tournament. Thibaut Courtois in goal, is one of the top 5 keepers around at the moment, plus the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Vincent Kompany as the back 3, all are leading defenders in the Premier League.
Kevin De Bruyne is possibly the best midfielder in the world at the moment and Eden Hazard is another of the top talents in world football. Iin Romelu Lukaku they also have a goalscoring machine who will be a constant threat for any team he comes up against.
Tunisia qualified from what was probably the weakest group in African qualifying facing DR Congo, Libya and Guinea but they are coming into the tournament with injury and fitness concerns for some key players, they will have to be 100% at it every game to have any chance of getting to the last 16 but ultimately they are unlikely to have anywhere near the quality required here.
Panama are in a similar boat to Tunisia. Making their World Cup debuts this year.
Their qualification came with some controversy, they finished third in CONCACAF’s Hexagonal round after a 2-1 win over Costa Rica, they were a goal behind as they were awarded a corner, the ball came into the box, deflecting off of Gabriel Torres and striking the inside of the far post.
Striker Blas Perez, his shirt being pulled fell to the ground as the ball bounced off his shoulder before coming to rest on the goal line. He tried to get the ball across, but Costa Rica defender Ronald Matarrita, kicked the ball off of Perez and out of play on the other side of the post.
However, referee Walter Lopez of Guatemala gave the goal, and though Costa Rica complained that the ball never crossed the line, the goal stood. Panama went on to score a winning goal in the 87th minute to secure their spot in Russia at the expense of both Honduras and the United States.
Anything other than finishing bottom of Group G can be considered as something to build on for Panama here. The best they can hope for is some good performances and the younger players in the squad getting some decent experience for any future tournaments.
WorldCupAcca Betting Tips:
World Cup Group G Fixtures / Results
|Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi – June 18, 2018 6:00 pm|
|Volgograd Stadium, Volgograd – June 18, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Spartak Stadium, Spartak Stadium – June 23, 2018 3:00 pm|
|Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod – June 24, 2018 3:00 pm|
|Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad – June 28, 2018 8:00 pm|
|Mordovia Arena, Saransk – June 28, 2018 9:00 pm|
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