The Three Lions are coming off a crushing defeat to Italy in the final of the European Championships last summer. Nonetheless, they enter this tournament with the hope of redeeming themselves.
Strengths: Captain striker Harry Kane will supply plenty of goals in the attack alongside wingers Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden. The midfield will be one of England’s strengths, sporting plenty of young talent, including Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Mason Mount. Rice, a player known for his physicality and ability to win the ball back, will likely play a key role in England’s suffocating offense.
Weaknesses: England has historically been known as a team that plays a very conservative style. They score first, then sit back in defense and play the possession game, relying on defenders to hold the lead. That hasn’t changed with current manager, Gareth Southgate. But as we have seen in many matches under Southgate (such as the European Championships Final where they lost a 1-0 lead in the second half, or in the round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup where they blew a 1-0 lead in the 93rd minute), England has struggled to hold onto leads in the past.. The conservative style of play is especially confusing for a team that has so many solid attacking players and could easily batter teams by three or four goals, instead of settling for marginal victories. They’ll still be able to scrape out results against most of the competition, but may encounter trouble against the top teams in the tournament. Southgate needs to make a change or else another disappointment for England is in the cards.
England has the potential to win their first World Cup since 1966, but are just as likely to lose unexpectedly and disappointingly in the early stages of the tournament. In terms of talent, they are one of the best teams in the world, but they simply never seem to get the job done.