American Football Athletics: European Championships 2024 Basketball Cricket Cycling Darts Esports Football Golf Horse racing Ice Hockey Motorsport Olympics 2024 Poker Politics Rugby Union Snooker Tennis WWE Yachting Other sports Other odds Old odds Casinoranker

England Have The Experience To Go All The Way In Qatar

After reaching the semi-finals of the last World Cup and going all the way to the final of Euro 2020, England will be hoping to finally get their hands on silverware at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Ranked as one of the favourites to lift the trophy in the Middle East this winter, the Three Lions will be hoping the disappointment they suffered in the last two major tournaments was worth it in the end.

Building on previous tournaments

The world started to take notice of England again in 2018 when head coach Gareth Southgate took his side to the semi-finals of the competition in Russia. England, who are 9/1 in the World Cup odds to win the tournament this year, ended up losing to Croatia in the last four. Fast forward to the European Championships last summer, and Southgate’s side took another step in the right direction as they reached the final at Wembley. This time it was Italy who were to lift the trophy, as the Azzurri bested England in a penalty shootout.

While both those tournaments ended in disappointment, it’s clear that England have been showing significant signs of progress over the last four years. The calibre of players in the Premier League means the Three Lions are always expected to reach the business ends of competitions. In the past, the national side has failed to deliver, but in these last two major tournaments, they gave a much better account of themselves. With a settled squad under a manager who has been in the position since 2016, England should head into this World Cup with the confidence they can succeed.

A Favourable Group For Three Lions

Having been drawn against Iran, the USA and Wales, England are the firm favourites to finish top of Group B on their way to the knockout stages. Iran are expected to struggle in this pool, while the US might offer England’s biggest challenge. The US national side has been showing signs of progress in recent years, with more Americans featuring in the Premier League and Europe’s other top divisions.

The encounter with Wales on November 29 will have the added drama of being an all-British contest between two neighbours in Al Rayyan. But in truth, looking back at the head-to-head record between Wales and rivals England, it has been a one-sided affair. The Three Lions have won all of their last nine encounters with the Welsh and will be the firm favourites to come away from the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium with the victory.

England’s Creativity Can Unlock Defences

Much will be made about star striker Harry Kane and the important role the England skipper will have in Qatar. That is fully deserved, and much of the Three Lions’ hopes of success will rely on the Tottenham talisman having a strong tournament. However, it’s England’s creative players that could set them apart from their rivals in the Middle East.

In the middle of the park, there's plenty of excitement about what Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham can do. The only England player in the squad who plays his football outside of the Premier League, the 19-year-old has been linked with a move to a host of Europe’s biggest clubs. With his ability to create and score chances from deep, Bellingham has the potential to make the 2022 World Cup his own ahead of a potential transfer in the near future.

Further up the field, Manchester City duo Phil Foden and Jack Grealish will also be looking to use their creative flair to unlock defences. Foden has enjoyed a superb season so far with City, scoring seven goals in 14 Premier League appearances before the World Cup break. While Grealish has not had the same impact at the Etihad Stadium this term, the former Aston Villa can have an influence in Qatar if he gets minutes to boost his confidence.

It’s an exciting England squad that has headed out to Qatar with the confidence of finally ending the country’s wait for a second World Cup. Southgate will be hoping the disappointment of the last two tournaments was not for nothing.