On 21st November, England will kick off their World Cup campaign in Qatar against Iran, with Gareth Southgate’s men looking to advance from Group B, which also consists of the USA and Wales.
England are inevitably one of the favourites to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, being priced up at 7/1 by the bookmakers, having so nearly ended over half a century of hurt when they reached the semi-finals in 2018 at the World Cup in Russia, as well as Euro 2020 last year.
When switching on famous old soundtracks such as World in Motion by New Order with that sensational rap by John Barnes, or Three Lions by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds, England fans start to dream again of what could be. Here, we take a look at England’s prospects and paths to the final in the upcoming World Cup.
World Cup 2022 - Group Stage - Group B
Last updated 27/03/2023
Group B: England, Iran, USA & Wales
Inevitably, England are priced at 2/5 to win Group B at World Cup group due to their recent records in tournaments, with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil being the last time that England failed to qualify from the group stages - doing so under Roy Hodgson’s stewardship as they failed to beat any of Italy, Uruguay or Costa Rica.
The Three Lions are priced at 6/1 odds to be eliminated at the group stages against what are significantly inferior opposition on paper. However, what will concern some England fans is their recent record under Southgate, having failed to win any of their last six matches, including a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Hungary.
Often a tournament can be the making of a side and is ultimately where international football is judged. In 2018, England finished second in Group G with six points, having beaten both Panama and Tunisia, before advantageously losing to Belgium in the final match, granting the Three Lions an easier path towards the final.
At Euro 2020, England accumulated seven points from their three matches against Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic, seeing them head to the Round of 16 in a comfortable fashion where they memorably defeated their old nemesis, Germany.
The Knockout Stages
The odds of England not getting out of the group are slim, this would be a major failure by the likes of Southgate and the players, with the talent at their disposal, the Three Lions should be challenging to win the competition as a whole.
Undoubtedly, England should be winning their group, which would see them face the runner-up of Group A, consisting of Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal or the Netherlands in the round of 16. Realistically, Louis van Gaal’s men should be dominating Group A in Qatar, meaning that the Three Lions would likely face one of the other three sides. Due to this, England are priced at 1/2 to reach the quarter-finals.
At the quarter-finals stages, England would then face either the winners of Group D or the runners-up of Group C. If projected results are correct, then their opponents will likely be France, Mexico or Poland, unless Denmark can upstage Didier Deschamps' men in Group D, which also has the likes of Australia and Tunisia in it - while Argentina would take some stopping to be denied of top spot in Group C.
Southgate is priced at 13/8 to lead England to back-to-back World Cup semi-finals.
Once at this stage, England would face one of the winners of Group F or H, or potentially, the runners-up of Group E or Group G. The favourites to win Group F are Belgium and Croatia, whilst in Group H, Portugal and Uruguay are the stand-out sides.
Meanwhile, Germany and Spain look set to battle it out for top spot in Group E, barring any heroics from Japan or Costa Rica, while if forecasts are right, one of Serbia, Switzerland or Cameroon will finish as runners-up to Brazil in Group G.
A First World Cup Final Since 1966?
England are the fourth favourites to reach the final at 7/2, behind the likes of Brazil, France and Argentina.
On top of this, Three Lions skipper Harry Kane is priced at 7/1 to win the Golden Boot at the tournament, whilst the Tottenham Hotspur forward is priced at 33/1 to achieve this feat whilst winning the World Cup with England.
The 29-year-old Spurs marksman will be desperate to win what would be a first-ever career trophy, whilst also having the opportunity to break Wayne Rooney’s all-time England goalscoring record in the process. Kane currently sits on 51 international goals, just two shy of Rooney, having played 45 fewer games than the ex-Manchester United forward.
If England manages to reach back-to-back finals at successive international competitions, then they would most likely face one of the Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, Spain or Brazil in the final, a daunting prospect but nevertheless, an exciting one.
Notably, the likes of Kane, who is priced at 16/1 to win the Golden Ballwould likely achieve this feat if he replicates his form from the 2018 World Cup where he won the Golden Boot.
Everton shot-stopper Jordan Pickford has the odds of 9/1 to win the Golden Glove, having become the first goalkeeper in England’s history to keep five successive clean sheets at the first five games of a European Championship last year - also setting a new record for the most consecutive scoreless minutes by a goalkeeper (721 minutes), beating England 1966 hero Gordon Banks in the process.