2018 World Cup | Qualifying Team Guide | England

England are the 16/1* seventh favourites withwilliam hill logo to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia after being drawn to face Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in Group G. The draw was kind to the England World Cup side, who had been available at 20/1 beforehand.

The 1966 World Cup winners will be playing in their 16th finals. Having reached one semi-final and the last eight on four occasions since, it’s been more than half a century since lifting the trophy.

England were eliminated in the group stage in Brazil in 2014, failing to win any of their three games. They made it only as far as the last 16 in South Africa four years earlier. Prior to that they had reached the quarter-finals in both 2002 and 2006 before losing to Brazil and Portugal respectively.

  • Fifa Ranking: 15
  • Tournament Best: Champions 1966
  • England World Cup Appearances: 16

England World Cup – Qualifications for Russia 2018

England World Cup Team

England’s Danny Rose, from left, Tammy Abraham, Dominic Solanke and Joe Gomez applaud fans after the international friendly soccer match between England and Brazil at Wembley stadium in London, Britain, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) @ Polfoto

Qualification was relatively straightforward for Gareth Southgate’s side, they topped Group F by eight points. England won eight and drew two of their 10 games against Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta.

However, it was far from the toughest of sections and England laboured at times, scoring only 10 goals in their five home matches. They needed injury-time goals to beat Slovakia and to snatch a draw against Scotland at Hampden Park.

Southgate was concerned with the humdrum nature of his side’s attacking performances. Consequently he switched to a three-man defence for the autumn friendlies against Germany and Brazil, which both ended goalless.

Should he stick with that formation for the finals, Southgate may choose Liverpool youngster Joe Gomez alongside John Stones and Gary Cahill. He may also put his trust in some of the other players he nurtured during his stint as U21 coach, such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The campaign will begin with Tunisia and Panama before a potential group decider against Belgium.

England World Cup – Key Players

Kyle Walker is a shoo-in for the right side of defence. While on the left Southgate will pick from Danny Rose, Ryan Bertrand and Ashley Young, who plays the wing-back for Manchester United.

Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli should feature in midfield, but creating opportunities for Harry Kane remains a problem. Raheem Sterling has struggled to reproduce his club form for his country. While Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has yet to make an impact since moving from Arsenal to Liverpool. Kane has a one-in-two strike rate for England and will score goals if the supply improves.

Belgium draw the bulk of their hugely talented squad from the Premier League. They’re the 10/11* favourites with william hill logo to win Group G, with England at 5/4* with the same firm and Tunisia and Panama a distant third and fourth.

England should certainly qualify for the knockout stages, where they must show a marked improvement on their performance at Euro 2016, when they were beaten in the last 16 by Iceland.

Joe Hart, Walker, Cahill, Alli, Eric Dier, Sterling and Kane all started that infamous defeat in Nice. All are expected to feature prominently in Russia. Perhaps underlining why Southgate has been so eager to integrate some fresh faces into his team.

2018 England World Cup Betting Odds

Event Selection Best Odds Brand
2018 World Cup England Win 16/1*  william hill logo
2018 World Cup England Win 17/1* Unibet logo
2018 World Cup England Win 16/1*  Paddy Power logo

*Odds at the time of writing. Subject to change.