After Wales' Euro 2016 exploits, many Welsh people thought that the team was going to make it to the World Cup. That was not the case however as Serbia topped the group automatically qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Welsh fans can find solace in the pronouncements made by several Welsh stars including Gareth Bale that they are going to fight to qualify for the next World Cup that is going to be held in 2022. In the meantime, Welsh fans have to make do with supporting neighbouring England. But is it a case of choosing another team to support after the group stage matches or there is a possibility of England going all the way to the Final. Give your answer by visiting various sportsbook offering world cup betting markets and placing your bet.
Getting out of the group stagesIn order to win the World Cup, England needs to reach the final and before that, it needs to get out of the group stages by winning all or some of its 3 matches. England's opponents in the group stages are Tunisia, Panama and Belgium. On paper, England is the second best team in this group behind Belgium.
The first match against Tunisia for England is a must win. Playing against relatively unknown players, England will have to expect a team that will play as a collective unit rather than having one player who will be dictating the flow of the game. This as many teams have found out is not a good thing because it forces every player in your team to focus for the entire duration of the match. Lapses of concentration by a single player can be disastrous therefore England will need to be prepared for this game as a unit also.
The next match will be against Panama. Again, this is a team that doesn't have any standout players but play as a collective unit. Breaking down a team playing as a collective unit is always a tough ask therefore England will need its creative players to be at their absolute best.
The last group stage match is against Belgium. Suppose England wins its first two matches and depending on other results, England can start this match already guaranteed of a place in the last 16 so it will be a match that decides who finishes 1st and who finishes 2nd. If this is the case, England can take a breather and play with some freedom but if England still needs some pints to guarantee qualification to the next round, then this will be the toughest of all the three group stage matches for England.
How far can they go?
Looking at England's World Cup squad juxtaposition it with the squads of Brazil, Germany, France, Spain and even Argentina, England's squad looks lightweight. Progression to the latter stages of the World Cup at this point is virtually impossible.
Verdict: The furthest England can go is to reach the quarter-finals.
[photo embedded from walesonline.co.uk]