England’s World Cup Chances: A Pundits Predictions Roundup
Are England going to win the World Cup? It’s the question on everyone’s lips at the moment. The Three Lions have one of the most talented squads going into the tournament, but current form and questions over Gareth Southgate are certainly tempering any hype that they could finally go all the way, for the first time since 1966.
From a bookmakers point of view, and those looking to bet on England to win the World Cup, Southgate’s men are priced at around 7/1, fourth favourites according to William Hill, but what are football experts saying about their chances in the media?
We decided to round up the thoughts of our favourite pundits who have already spoken out about England’s chances of bringing football home…
Back in 2013, The Independent newspaper had predicted that Gary Neville would be managing the Three Lions at the 2022 World Cup, with the likes of Phil Jones, Jordan Ibe and Jack Wilshere key members of the squad.
How wrong they were. However, Gary Neville will still have a prominent voice at the tournament as a pundit and he has backed Gareth Southgate to take the England side all the way.
He said, “I think they are on a growth over the last few years and I don’t buy into this idea that the Nation League’s performance is them – they played four games in the middle of summer that actually nobody was stimulated by and I think the two games they played recently against Italy and Germany are tough games that you can lose in any single year.
So, come the tournament, hopefully, injuries won’t take too much of a hold and I’m going to go for England. If not England I’m going to go for France or Argentina!”
Ian Wright isn’t quite following the same sort of patriotism as Neville and believes that England will struggle to hit the heights that they did during the European Championships. With the addition of the South American nations, Wright has backed Argentina to win the tournament, following their win in the Copa America last year.
Wright said during an interview:
“They can play beautiful attacking football but they also know how to really grind out results when needed.
‘England have shown they can get to the latter stages of big tournaments – we have good tournament experience now and we’d do well to get to the semi-final stages again.”
Roy Keane, who will join Gary Neville and Ian Wright on the ITV punditry team has said that England will come up just short, with their defensive frailties costing them against the bigger sides such as France and Brazil.
The Irishman believes Brazil will go all the way and will be hard to stop.
Former England striker Michael Owen believes England can come close, claiming Gareth Southgate’s men have a very solid team and can win it.
However, he believes France have the edge despite there not being a real standout team with Brazil also contenders.
David Basheer, commentator for SBS in Australia on the other hand believes that England’s recent poor form may cost them at the World Cup. Speaking on the SBS World Cup preview show, he said:
“I think England – it really does depend on their start; it depends on the mentality of the players.
“I don’t think there’s an issue with Southgate and the respect the players have for him, but they’re just not finding an attacking rhythm at the moment and defensive solidarity,”
“So, all the aspects that carried them to success in Russia, and also a heartbeat away from the European Championship on home soil, they really haven’t recaptured in this period leading up to the World Cup.”
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