In the end there were few shocks when the England boss named his selection for the upcoming World Cup earlier this week, however there were a few surprising omissions from the squad for Russia 2018 with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Joe Hart, Jonjo Shelvey and Chris Smalling overlooked by Southgate.
“I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” Southgate said to reporters once the announcement had been made. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.
“We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop.”
It would seem that Southgate himself is excited about his selection, however the bookmakers certainly aren’t with most firms pessimistic about England’s chances of bringing to an end their wait to be world champions.
Bet365 Bookmakers make England 18/1 to win the 2018 World Cup, behind usual suspects Brazil at 4/1, Germany at 9/2, Spain at 6/1, France at 13/2, Argentina at 9/1 and Belgium at 11/1. Most pundits agree that the Three Lions line-up has a better chance of progressing from the group stages of the competition than their 2014 counterparts with most firms going 5/1 that they fail to make it past the first hurdle, however once the knockout stages get underway the bookmakers are less than confident of England’s chances of progressing.
The Three Lions are 11/5 to exit at the Last-16 and the same price to get knocked out at the quarter-final stage while they are 5/1 to suffer a semi-final exit and 10/1 to finish the tournament as runners-up.
England World Cup Odds
18/1 – To win the World Cup
5/1 – To exit at the Group Stages
11/5 – To exit at the Last-16 stage
11/5 – To exit at the Quarter-Final stage
5/1 – To exit at the Semi-Final stage
10/1 – To finish as Runners-Up