England – World Cup 2014 – Betting
Manager: Roy Hodgson
Captain: Steven Gerrard
FIFA Ranking: 15
World Cup appearances: 13
World Cup Winner: 1966
England Team Profile
England, sometimes referred to as ‘Three Lions‘, are a nation of which big things are always expected of them. Their loyal followers back home in what is a football mad country, always raise the expectation levels whenever a major tournament passes by their doorstep, and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be no different.
The English are well renowned for their big fan base and the news is they will be heavily backed in South America, cheering their team on to what they hope will be World Cup glory. However, it may all be patriotic optimism this time around and nothing more, as England had their issues during qualification and they are not being favoured as heavily as they were at the 2010 World Cup to make an impact. Still, with boss Roy Hodgson taking a more positive, attacking approach in the final stretch of qualification, which was enough to see them top their group, the England fans will still be expecting.
It used to be Spain who held the mantle for being the biggest underachievers in World football, but then with the Spanish claiming two European Championships and a World Cup in the last six years, the tag has firmly fell onto England’s shoulders, as the English haven’t lifted a major International trophy since 1966 when they won the World Cup on home soil. It’s been an absolute age without anything to celebrate, and what hurts the English supporters the most is England have rarely even looked like going close to winning either a World Cup or a European Championship. Not being one of the top seeded teams this time around, England have a massive uphill battle ahead just to get out of the group stage.
Roy Hodgson. He wasn’t exactly too much of a popular choice when the FA picked him. Most England fans wanted Harry Redknapp to drag them forward and play exciting football, but England went for the more pragmatic Hodgson. He took charge for the first time ahead of the 2012 European Championships, where he guided England to the quarter finals, without the Three Lions looking an exciting, adventurous or dangerous side whatsoever. Performances during 2014 World Cup qualification didn’t exactly thrill England fans, but then, when it mattered most with a couple of home games to see out their qualification campaign, he switched to a more attacking formation and started giving some of England’s youngsters a chance.
So he doesn’t particular seem afraid of change, it just takes a long time to come around. England fans will really be wondering if Hodgson has a plan B up his sleeve and whether he knows how to use the players in their best positions. There is a concern that having been drawn in such a tough group alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, caution may be the first order of the day. A well travelled man with bags of experience and getting England to the World Cup was his proudest moment in football.
England Key Players
The mileage is ticking up on the clock now for the Liverpool skipper, but he can still be a massive influence for England. While Gerrard has had his fair share of England critics down the years, will still feel he has something to prove. It is likely that he will be playing a deeper role in the England midfield, necessary in dealing with the heat of Brazil. Seeing him in the Andrea Pirlo role could be a boon for England, while he is a crucial part of set pieces as well.
Steven Gerrard is arguably the very best at what he does and his game is about several aspects, all of which he does to a very high standard. The accuracy of his passing is second to none; switching the ball from flank to flank isn’t a problem for the Merseyside star, tracking back and helping out in defence he does to a more than satisfactory level, while the standard at which he creates chances for everyone else, and the regularity of them, are both outstanding and admirable. However, the one crucial factor you get with Gerrard that you don’t with most Midfielders is this unique ability to defy adversity time and time again. Gerrard’s winning mentality is priceless and he can win any game of football at any given time.
Usually it is all about Wayne Rooney at this point, but it is probably a better time to talk up Liverpool man Daniel Sturridge, with Rooney having failed to impress for England for a long time. Sturridge has the youthful traits of pace and power, and after such a tremendous season in front of goal for Liverpool, England will be hoping that he carries over that form to the international stage. He does over complicate things now and again, but he has the genuine pace to trouble defences. The best could be yet to come from Sturridge in an England shirt.
With his Chelsea teammate John Terry no longer at the heart of the England defence, the Three Lions need Cahill to really step up and take the reins. England are not that strong at the back and England really need a leader back there, and it really only looks like Cahill is able to step into that role. Doesn’t do much wrong and England need him to stand tall.
The support England will get from their travelling fans will be amazing throughout their time in Brazil, and so long as the Three Lions keep progressing, the support will grow and grow. England’s strengths are in their youngsters, the likes of Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Jack Wilshere, Ross Barkley, Leighton Baines, Andros Townsend and Adam Lallana. England aren’t strong in any particular area and only get close to looking like a really good side when they pick their tempo up and play a good English game. Frankly the more that they use their pace players, the better off they will be because they don’t look a side comfortable of sitting on a clean sheet for long period. The energy that the youngsters will bring could be a big key to England’s progress, if Hodgdon uses them.
England will get chances in front of goal from somewhere, so that’s not too much of a concern in this one. The big weakness is the defence, which doesn’t look particularly quick, and that is a concern against the up-tempo sides. But that can be compensated for with attacking displays, but England’s biggest weakness is their lack of tactical ability to retain the ball. That is going to hurt them in the heat and the more they have to chase the quicker they are going to tire. There’s no-one in the team there to stroke the ball around and just control the game by shifting the ball around. That could hurt them massively.
England Qualification for the World Cup
Goals Scored: 31
Goals Conceded: 4
World Cup Potential: 3/5
They were expected to go so well at South Africa 2010 and they stuttered and stumbled their way to pretty much nowhere. This time around there is no expectation on the shoulders after being drawn in such a tough opening group. With Hodgson just really blooding the next generation of England talents, this side is a couple of years short of being a much better quality side.
England World Cup Betting Odds
England to win the World Cup: 33/1 – William Hill
Before the World Cup the odds on England were 33/1
England World Cup 2014 Fixtures – Group D
|Sa 14th June||20.00||Uruguay v Costa Rica||1:3|
|Sa. 14th June||23.00||England v Italy||1:2|
|Th 19th June||20.00||England v Uruguay||1:2|
|Fr 20th June||17.00||Italy v Costa Rica||0:1|
|Tu 24th June||17.00||Italy v Uruguay||0:1|
|Tu 24th June||17.00||England v Costa Rica||0:0|
World Cup 2014 Group D Table