World Cup 2018 Preview - England

Thu, Jun 14 2018

Harry Kane arrives in Russia. Credit: FIFA

Team: England

Manager: Gareth Southgate

Group: Group G

Other teams in group: Belgium, Panama and Tunisia.

THE SQUAD

Southgate has picked a squad which is evidently packed with defenders which reflects his desire to play with three centre backs. Notable omissions come in the form of Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere while Liverpool’s Adam Lallana has to settle for a place on stand-by.

Dele Ali, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling should fuel fans of the ‘Three Lions’ with hope for the future due to their talent and age profiles.

The Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashely Young (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jese Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea).

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

 

HOW THEY GOT HERE

It was a relatively straight forward passage towards the plane to Russia for the English. They topped a group which saw Slovakia and Scotland finish in second and third respectively.

Southgate’s side accumulated a total of 26 points from a possible 30. Two of those points were dropped at the home of old rivals Scotland. A late, late strike from Harry Kane stealing a share of the spoils which ultimately saw Scotland miss out on a play off place.

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Trent Alexander-Arnold: Trent burst into the Liverpool team over the past two seasons impressing Jürgen Klopp so much that he has become one of the first names on the team sheet. His performances enroute to the Champions League final this season all but nailed down his seat on the plane.

Marcus Rashford: Rashford’s rise was like something from a movie. He made his United debut back in 2015 coming off the bench to score twice in a Europa League game. Since 2015 he has made 78 appearances for the Red Devils scoring 17 goals.

Harry Kane: Kane has become one of the hottest properties in world football thanks to his spectacular scoring record. The English talisman has notched up 108 goals in his 150 appearances for Spurs. As a senior international Kane has scored 13 times in his 24 caps.    

 

WHERE THEY ARE PLAYING AND STAYING

Mon June 18th – Tunisia (Volgograd) 7pm

Sun June 24th – Panama (Nizhny Novgorod) 1pm

Thurs June 28th – Belgium (Kaliningrad) 7pm

The Three Lions are staying at a quiet hotel in Repino which is a 45 minute drive from St. Petersburg. They will train at a purpose built, completely renovated by the FA base at Spartak Zelnogorsk, two minutes from the hotel.

THREE INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE TEAM

Only Italy can match England’s torrid penalty shoot-out record at the tournament losing three times.

England have appeared at 15 world cup finals. Winning the tournament in 1966 but the semi-finals is their greatest finish since coming in 1990.

Harry Kane comes into the tournament in startling form having scored 56 times for club and country in 2017.

 

THEIR RECENT FORM

England have played two warm-up games against two nations who have also qualified for the tournament. Elland Road was the venue as they beat the hipsters choice Nigeria 2-1. While they returned to Wembley for their send-off game beating Costa Rica 2-0.

First game: Monday June 18th – Tunisia (Volgograd) 7pm