Not long and England’s World Cup 2018 squad will step off a plane into Russia and, once again, hold the hopes of the nation in its hands. This is a time filled with expectations and positivity that is generally gradually wiped away as the tournament progresses. This time we all want it to be different. There is that hope that maybe, this time, is the right time. The best sportsbooks have started taking World Cup betting seriously, with the best odds for Golden Boot bets, to yellow card bets and match-winner betting. There are also some great World Cup bonuses and promotions floating around. But how does England fair? Will the team break our hearts and our bank balances?
Well, let’s see who we believe has the fate of our World Cup dreams at their disposal. Here’s who has made it into England’s World Cup 2018 squad. Who’ll be there, and who’ll be watching from the settee – like us.
This player is just 24 years old and Southgate could make him first choice as England goalie. Currently playing for Everton FC, he has been there since July 2017. However, this hasn’t been a great season for Everton FC defensively, who have managed to concede 65 goals in 44 matches. In fact, there are just 10 games out of the 44 in which the club has managed to keep a clean sheet. However, he has been strong, and without him, the club would have conceded many, many more. Hopefully, with sturdier defenders to assist, there’ll be a few more clean sheets to his name after this tournament.
Stoke City’s goalkeeper is 25 years old and aspires to be first choice goalie in the England squad, although he still has much to prove. He’s been at Stoke since 2013, although has been out on loan to clubs such as Derby, Leeds, Barnsley and Birmingham in that time. This season hasn’t been a great season on paper. In his 31 appearances on the team, it’s conceded 58 goals, including 1 own goal. However, he does have 5 clean sheets to his name as well. He has also been a constant on the team, and this means that he has had enough games and made enough saves to justify his place on the plane to Russia.
Burnley’s goalkeeper has done a very decent job. He hasn’t played every match for Burnley, sharing the honour with Tom Heaton; however, in the 32 games he has played, he’s kept a pretty decent 12 clean sheets. This 25-year-old definitely deserves a shot, and with Joe Hart having seen barely any club action this season, if you want to put your money on a 3rd choice goalie, then Nick Pope is a very good bet.
John Stones has made a few appearances in the England squad in the run-up to the World Cup finals. He has been consistently solid throughout. As a Manchester City defender, he plays amongst the best players in the world and plays against the best teams. This gives him solid experience in facing teams with the very best strikers. With a total of 68 appearances for Manchester City and 5 goals scored, he’s a very decent bet.
Another Manchester City defender that could make the cut is Kyle Walker, the 27-year-old right back. He’s another player with solid form and experience in having to defend against world-class strikers. This season he’s played 45 matches for the club and has managed a decent tally of 7 assists, which is not too shabby for a defender. However, in England, he’ll not have the backing of the class of players he does at Man City which may expose weaknesses such as his weakness at crossing the ball. However, he is at home with the wing-back position and is probably the best option open to Southgate.
This 27-year-old Spurs player already has 16 caps for England and looks likely to make it even more in Russia. Spurs have had an incredible season, and Danny Rose has played a role in that. As a club that has managed to make the Champions League, Spurs has given Rose the chance to face formidable opponents and has given him experience against the best players in the world. He’s played 14 games for Spurs this season, which isn’t great, but a damaged knee has seen him sitting on the side-lines. However, he’s been a decent addition to the team and been involved in some decent wins and draws against teams such as Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.
Here is another Spurs player who could add some strength at the back. This 27-year-old right-back has decent crossing ability and this could be vital in the squad, which lacks in wide players. Tripper has played some of the top teams in the Champions League and was in the team that beat Real Madrid 3-1. He’s started 30 games for the club and has definitely earned a place in the team.
Chelsea’s centre-back has played a very respectable 36 games for his club. He’s played in 6 of the 8 Champions League games and 22 of the 28 Premier League games, which is a pretty solid showing. In his time at Chelsea, he’s scored a decent 25 goals, although only 1 has been this season. However, this is a man that has much experience playing for his country. He has 58 caps to his name and has scored 4 times, so he brings much-needed experience in this area and could be pivotal in holding the team together when the pressure is on and the going gets tough.
In all fairness, the choice is pretty limited. Leicester City’s 25-year-old centre-back doesn’t have much competition as it’s unlikely Smalling will make the squad, and Jones isn’t a very reliable player. This season he’s made an impressive 38 appearances for his club and has managed a solid 2 goals and 3 assists. It’s been a good season for him at Leicester City and this form sees him given a shot.
This 19-year-old player may be young, but having played for Liverpool, he’s used to the big stage. This youthful right-back is a brave decision as he is a clear choice of youth over experience. However, he has a good, albeit fleeting players record. In 2017 he won the club’s Young Player of the Season award and has already represented England at the youth levels between U-16s and U-21s. In total, he has made 26 appearances for Liverpool and has 32 youth caps. There’s no denying he’s definitely got great potential, and it will be nice to see him shone here.
Manchester United’s defender is primarily a centre-back but is also used to playing as a right-back or defensive midfielder. This 26-year-old has been with Manchester United since 2011 after he transferred from Blackburn Rovers. He has made 145 appearances for his club to date. Jones comes with a certain amount of experience on the international stage, having earned 24 senior caps since 2011.
A team-mate of Jones, Ashley Young is a winger and wing-back that has been playing for Man U since 2011. He has played 150 games since his arrival and previously made 157 appearances for Villa and a further 98 for Watford. At the age of 32, he certainly has a lot of experience at club level. However, this is not evident in his international career. He has earned around 34 caps for the country at senior level since 2007 so is looking to get some more under his belt (or on his head) before he’s too old.
Another Midfielder from the impressive Kop squad is 27-year-old Jordan Henderson. This central midfielder brings a heap of experience to the core of the team. Henderson doesn’t have the skills of some of the other top players, but he is dependable, and that is well-needed. He has been a regular on the Liverpool squad, having appeared in 33 of the team’s matches. He was also part of the strong defensive midfield that saw Liverpool keep a clean sheet against Premier League giants Man City.
Another relative youngster that Southgate has included on his team sheet is Chelsea’s 22-year-old Loftus-Cheek. This young midfielder has played for Chelsea since 2014 although has been on loan to Crystal Palace for the 2-17-2018 season. He has made a total of 24 appearances this season for Palace and 22 appearances for Chelsea before this. Loftus-Cheek has decent experience internationally for his age, having played for the youth teams 40 times. He has also earned 3 caps for the senior team since his first call up in 2017. Southgate is definitely showing us that he is trying to give younger and fresher players a bite of the cherry, so let’s see how juicy he can get.
Man City is a top team and as such, has top players in its squad. Step up, Fabian Delph. This 28-year-old central midfielder is a strong player that has put in great performances; Delph is not just a decent midfielder but has also excelled as a left-back player, so there’s versatility there. He’s been on the team 24 times for City this season and has been a strong and dependable player in Manchester City’s extraordinary year. He’s also made 9 appearances for England. However, Delph has suffered from a few injuries recently, which could put a dampener on things, but with his strength, experience and versatility, he makes a good addition.
Manchester United has an impressive talent in 25-year-old left-winger Lingard. Not everyone has seen Lingard’s star potential, but it’s there all the same. This is a player who is able to find goals where other people can’t manage; who doesn’t want a player like that on a team? He’s bagged an impressive 41 appearances this season and has scored a very creditable 13 goals with 6 assists. He’s been a regular in the starting 11 line-up and has made an appearance for Man U in every Premier League game since November 2017. On top of that, he’s had a solid record with no injuries so far this year. He’s definitely a decent bet.
Spurs’ young defensive midfielder may be just 24 years old, but he can play in a range of positions; this will benefit him and the squad. This is a player who has some serious tactical fluidity, which is well-needed by the team. If he can be a little more consistent in the tournament than he has previously been, he could do well. Pochettino clearly sees something in Dier as out of 33 Premier League games, he’s made the starting line-up 29 times and has been a sub another 2 times. He has also been a player in 7 of the 8 Champions League matches. Having proved himself in one of the best Tottenham teams in a long while, we have no reason to doubt his ability on the England Squad.
Without a doubt, Dele Alli is one of England’s best midfield talents. He may be just 22 years old, but Spurs’ attacking midfielder has caused ripples in the Premier League since he moved from MK Dons. Although he hasn’t reached the same heights this season as last, overall, he’s scored 44 goals for the club along with 41 assists. There’s definitely scoring potential there. His dependability is also very impressive. He has been a player in every Premier League match bar one, when he had a hamstring injury and he’s played in all Champions League games, excluding his suspension at beginning of the tournament. When it comes to youth, speed, versatility and skill, Alli is a must.
What can we say, as it stands this Spurs boy is one of the best centre-forwards in the world. Not picking this one would be insane. This is a forward that, at the age of just 24, has made 23 appearances for England and scored 12 goals. Let’s take a look at his performances this season. Well, in the Premier League he has been a player in every game except one, where an injury forced him out. In those games, he has managed to score 24 goals with 2 assists. Then there’s the Champions League, which saw him play 7 times with 7 goals scored – not bad stats at all.
This is probably the most world-class player England has on its squad, and if England can get far enough in the competition, he could well be in with a chance of winning the Golden Boot. 888sport have him as 5th favourite, with odds of 17/1, so if you want to try some World Cup betting on an English player then he’s your man.
This is a player that has made enough of an impact to impress the top Premier League club, Man City; he must be doing something right. He may have started off the season a little stronger than he is currently, but his skill and excellence should ensure that he is one of the first on Southgate’s list of names. This right-winger is just 23 years old but he already has 37 caps to his name.
Guardiola has picked Sterling to play in 29 games and 3 he missed through injury. Only once has the manager left him on the bench. He’s also been a player in 8 of the Champions League games only missing out with an injury and has been on the bench once. In a team full of top players, he is certainly making his mark. In 42 games he has scored a very decent 21 goals with 13 assists. He will almost certainly be flying to Russia.
If there’s one thing Leicester City’s centre-forward likes to do, it’s score goals. He’s one of the older team members at 31. He’s been on the England team just 21 times, but he’s scored 7 goals in those games. Leicester City did the unthinkable in 2015/2016 season and won the Premier League, beating all of the top teams, and Vardy played a key role in this victory. He’s been one of the most impressive and reliable players on the squad and has earned the chance to make it onto the plane. With 36 appearances this season, 19 goals and 1 assist, it’s unlikely they’ll leave him at home.
Mourinho is a notoriously difficult man to impress, as Man U’s Marcus Rashford has worked out; however, this young player has managed to convince his fans of his worthiness on the pitch. At 20 years old, if he does make the squad, he’s going to be one of the youngest of the team. However, that means little – he has youth and speed. This is a player that has made an impressive 44 appearances; however, more often than not Mourinho brings him on as a sub and is not in the starting line-up. Out of those 44 appearances, the manager has started him in just 22 of the matches. However, considering this, he’s scored 12 goals with an impressive 9 assists – so he makes his mark when he’s on. This could be a great chance for Rashford to prove himself as something better than a decent sub.
Daniel Nii Tackie Mensah Welbeck, fortunately, has an easier moniker that he goes by. Danny Welbeck is the 27-year-old Arsenal player that generally likes to play as a forward but can also play as a winger. He has a solid club background, having made 92 appearances for Man U between 2008 and 2014. Since his move to Arsenal, he has made another 80 Premier League appearances. Although he was a bit of a surprise addition for many. He does have some experience internationally, with 35 caps for the youth teams and another 38 caps for the senior squad.
England’s World Cup 2018 squad, on paper, may not look as threatening as some of the other teams, such as Brazil and Germany. However, there are some players in the squad who could cause upset. With 888sport offering great odds on Harry Kane for the Golden Boot, he’s worth a go. Then there’s Dele Alli, and Raheem Sterling and who all have the power to make a difference. Unfortunately, Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade Chamberlain is no longer able to join the squad due to injury. This is a great shame as he was in great form and could have made a big impact. This omission may affect the confidence of the team at first.
They aren’t going into the tournaments as odds on favourites, but with bookmakers offering the best odds between 14/1 and 17/1, it’s a good time to get behind your national team. With lots of great World Cup promotions on offer, there’s not a better time to place your bets. If you want the best odds then visit the best sites such as Unibet an 888sport, where you can get top odds of 17/1 for the win.