A squad that is populated by ENTIRELY domestic products, England boasts all 23 of their players as stars in the Premier League. So how will they stack up this year compared to previous tournaments? Well, they should be poised to make a deep run, hopefully eclipsing the 6th, 7th, and 9th place finishes they have had since not qualifying in 1994. The team is young, exciting, and full of fire power. The only setback may be managerially as Gareth Southgate is leaning towards a 3 centre back, 2 wingback formation that is defensive by nature.
Players to watch light it up for England:
Harry Kane – The most electric and globally recognized player for England since David Beckham, Harry Kane is a goal scoring monster for Tottenham Hotspur. Putting up 30 goals this season in 37 games, Kane improved pace from his 2016/17 goal scoring total of 29. At only 24 years of age, Kane is poised to be England’s striker for the foreseeable future and for good reason! His name is mentioned with the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar as global footballing monsters, so sit back and let the kid get to work!
Raheem Sterling – After winning the Premier League with Manchester City this season, Sterling is looking to keep the good times rolling with England at the World Cup. He had an explosive coming out party this season, scoring 18 goals and adding 15 assists in 32 games played. He is an offensive dynamo who relies on his speed to get open and expose back lines. If Kane is locked up look for Sterling to leap into play from the attacking midfield or wing to support and slot home some goals.
Kyle Walker – Another Manchester City, Premier League winning team member, Walker patrolled the right side of the centre backs, played as a right full back, and also jumped in as a wingback for his league winning team this season. He failed to score this season, but added six assists. If Southgate uses wingbacks, look for Walker to be either the farthest right centre back or the wingback, carrying play up the side of the pitch.
This team is really good on paper, and with a group like their they should cruise through group play along side Belgium. As well, they get to start with Tunisia and Panama before playing Belgium which should essentially see them on enough points to move forward before their biggest challenge. If they can prove effective in a defensive formation they will success this year, however I fear that defensive play and reliance on a team system will only slash their chances of winning the World Cup.