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World Cup: England team profile

It has been 56 years since England lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy and the Three Lions will be eager to deliver a second success at the World Cup in Qatar.

England matched their best run at a World Cup since achieving glory in 1966 when reaching the semi-finals in 2018 - the same stage they were knocked out at in 1990.

A runners-up finish at Euro 2020 was another step in the right direction under Gareth Southgate, but recent results have rather dampened the spirits and there is a degree of pressure on the manager to deliver success in Qatar.

Still, the Three Lions are 11/2 to claim the spoils in the Middle East and end 56 years of hurt. The question is, though, is football really coming home?

WhatWorld Cup
WhereQatar
When20th November - 18th December 2022
How to watchAll matches will be shown on either the BBC or ITV
OddsBrazil 9/2, England 11/2, France 6/1, Argentina 7/1, Spain 8/1

What is England's World Cup record?

England's crowning moment came in 1966 when they beat West Germany 4-2 after extra-time in the final, sparking Kenneth Wolstenholme's famous 'They think it's all over' commentary in the closing stages.

It has been a tale of frustration for the Three Lions since that memorable day, with a semi-final exit in 1990 the best result achieved before that was matched four years ago in Russia.

Even the so-called 'Golden Generation' failed to deliver silverware, with quarter-final exits in 2002 and 2006 the closest that crop of players came to lifting the trophy.

PositionYear
Champions1966
Fourth place1990, 2018
Quarter-finals

1954, 1962, 1970, 1986, 2002, 2006

Second group stage

1982

Last 16

1998, 2010

Group stage

1950, 1958, 2014

How did England qualify?

As ever it seems with England, they topped Group I to secure their spot at World Cup 2022, which will be their 16th appearance at the tournament.

The Three Lions were unbeaten in qualifying - winning eight and drawing two - as they finished six points clear of Poland in second, while Albania were a further two points in arrears in third.

England's biggest qualification moments came in the two encounters with Poland, as they scored late to secure a 2-1 victory at Wembley before then drawing 1-1 in the reverse fixture.

Since securing their place in Qatar, England have endured a disappointing Nations League campaign, losing two and drawing two of their four matches to sit bottom of Group A3.

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Who is in England's group?

There should be no fear for England as they have been drawn against Iran, the USA and Wales in Group B at the World Cup, and the 1966 champions are 1/3 to win their pool.

Up first for the Three Lions is a clash against Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan on 21st November, a game they are 3/10 to win, before a meeting with the USA at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, on 25th November.

Southgate's men then face Wales in a grudge match in Al Khor again on 29th November and, barring any surprise results, England should have at least secured a top-two spot by that point.

If all goes to plan for the Three Lions, they will likely face either Ecuador or Senegal in the last-16 stage, with the Netherlands expected to top Group A.

Who is England's manager?

Southgate started out his managerial career at Middlesbrough between 2006 and 2009, but it was not until 2013 when he was back in the dugout as England Under-21 boss.

The former defender spent three years in charge of the Young Lions before he was placed in temporary charge of the senior team on 27th September 2016, when Sam Allardyce resigned after one game.

After a four-match spell as caretaker, in which he recorded two wins and two draws, he was handed the reins on a permanent basis before the turn of the year, penning a four-year contract.

Southgate guided England to the semi-finals of the World Cup 2018 before almost delivering silverware at Euro 2020, only to lose out to Italy on penalties in the final at Wembley.

The 52-year-old has been good at giving youth a chance to shine but there has been criticism that he does have his favourites when it comes to team selection. A perceived failure to react quickly and make substitutions has also seen him come under the microscope.

With the talent at his disposal and the added expectations, World Cup 2022 could be a make-or-break tournament for Southgate.

Who is England's star player?

In terms of goals, there is no doubt Harry Kane is England's star player, given the fact he is only three behind Wayne Rooney's all-time record of 53 goals for his country. Kane won the Golden Boot in Russia and is 7/1 to be crowned top scorer again.

However, looking at the balance of the team and which individual could have a more telling impact, West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice gets the nod.

The 23-year-old has been a leading force for club and country in the holding midfield role, reading the play fantastically, winning possession back and setting his side away.

Rice also offers a threat from set-pieces at 6ft 1in and he has scored twice for his country, while his height also makes him invaluable when it comes to defending.

With England expected to come up against some of the world's best teams in Qatar, it's imperative they have someone who can nullify threats and Rice certainly falls into this category.

Who could be England's breakout star?

At just 19 years of age, Jude Bellingham already looks like a huge talent and it's no surprise to see him linked with a move to the Premier League.

The ex-Birmingham City midfielder made the switch to Borussia Dortmund in 2020 and he has been a regular first-team fixture ever since.

Bellingham is comfortable in possession, can pick out a pass and has boundless energy to get up and down the pitch during a game.

He featured sparingly at Euro 2020 but, having seen his game develop since then, it may be hard for Southgate to leave such a talent on the bench this time.

What is England's predicted line-up and tactics?

Predicted line-up (4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier; Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham; Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling; Harry Kane.

Although England are blessed with a plethora of attacking options, the same can't be said of defensive recruits and that is why Southgate tends to play four at the back with two holding midfielders or three centre-backs with two wing-backs.

Nevertheless, the Three Lions still have the quality to outgun teams with the likes of Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane all possible scoring threats.

England like to play possession football when they can and use the pace they have in their side to get in behind opposition, which can often lead to chances for Kane to stick one away inside the area.

There are several players that could make an impact off the bench, with Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe a fantastic playmaker, while Jadon Sancho has the quality to create chances and score if he can get back to his best.

How far can England go in Qatar?

If England had a more attack-minded manager, there would be a strong case to suggest they could have a great chance of going all the way.

However, there is still a question-mark over whether Southgate can get the best out of the players at his disposal and, in the crucial moments, he has failed to get the job done.

Also, there is the possibility England could face France in the quarter-finals and it's hard to back against a Les Bleus side packed with quality across all departments.

A run to the quarter-finals, which is priced at 4/9, could be as far as the Three Lions go in Qatar.

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