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England: Young guns, the hope of an entire nation

10 June 2018
England is the home of football and also has the biggest domestic competition of all countries present at the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Expectations are therefore always high for the national team. Remiqz takes a closer look at The Three Lions’ chances of winning this summer.
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Chance of winning

Using our unique simulation tool, Remiqz is able to predict the course of the FIFA World Cup. According to our calculations, England have a 11.1% chance to leave Russia as winners.

England are placed in Group G together with fellow powerhouse Belgium, who have more genuine Premier League stars than The Three Lions. The other two teams in the group are Panama and Tunisia. Teams who progress from Group G will face either Japan, Colombia, Senegal or Poland in the round of 16. In other words; the draw has been fair to England and the quarterfinal is there for the taking.

Selection

For England, the times of international superstars like Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and Frank Lampard are over. England’s most famed player nowadays is captain Harry Kane (EPI: 4800), who is only 24 years old never won any silverware at his clubs. Manager Gareth Southgate has clearly made a choice for talent: if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.

With an average age of 26.0, England have the youngest squad at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, barring Nigeria. Central defender Gary Cahill (EPI: 4377) is by far the most-capped player, with 59 international appearances to his name. All 23 players are currently playing in the Premier League.

Style of Play

England’s classic formation is 4-4-2 and sticking to this has severely limited them at past World Cups. Southgate initially fielded a 4-2-3-1 formation but has opted to playing with three central defenders in the last nine games of his reign, coincidentally following the tactical trend of the Premier League’s last two seasons.

The formation at the World Cup will be a 3-5-2 with one holding midfielder and two central midfielders. Without the ball, England form a 5-3-2 and try to block the middle of the pitch.

With wing backs like Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose or Ashley Young, England do not need traditional wingers. Kyle Walker’s emergence as an inside full back at Manchester City allows Southgate to field him as a central defender. They will play with one holding midfielder, either Eric Dier or Jordan Henderson. Harry Kane is captain and plays the traditional striker role, the other striker has the freedom to drop deeper and link up with the midfielders. This player will probably be Raheem Sterling, even though Marcus Rashford played very well in England’s last friendly before the World Cup against Costa Rica.

England’s biggest problems when it comes to personnel lie in central midfield. Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli will presumably play there, even though they have more attacking roles at club level. Both players are talented no.10’s who will have to play a little bit more restricted than they are naturally accustomed to.

As stated before, the time of Gerrard and Lampard is gone, but England could have used one of them badly at this World Cup in Russia. Even though the sheer quality is lacking, this is still a fine side with a decent 11.1% chance of emerging as victors.

(Images by Pro Shots)