England’s quest to reach the 2018 World Cup final and possibly lift the trophy ended in disappointment after they lost 2-1 to Croatia after extra-time in last night’s semi-final, however there is now a genuine belief that the national side have what it takes to win a major international tournament and boss Gareth Southgate believes that success could soon be forthcoming.
“Tonight was a wonderful opportunity and you can’t guarantee they’ll come again,” Southgate said to reporters after last night’s defeat. “But equally we want to be a team who hit quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. We’ve proved to ourselves and our country that’s possible. A lot of teams who go on to win trophies lose in quarter-finals or semi-finals first.
“At the moment we all feel the pain of defeat. I don’t think realistically we expected to be here. But once you’re here and played as well as we did, you want to take those opportunities in life. The dressing room is a difficult place at the moment. I’m remarkably proud of the group of players – the reaction of the supporters compared to two years ago shows the country are proud of the way we played.”
With the Three Lions priced at 8/1 to win the European Championships in two years’ time, the bookmakers clearly believe that they can turn bitter disappointment into delight.
The next international challenge for Southgate’s men will be the UEFA Nations League and they are 12/1 to win that competition, Germany and Spain topping the outright market at 4/1 and 7/2 respectively. The Three Lions are considerably shorter odds to win Euro 2020 with Bet365 Bookmakers making them 8/1 alongside a Belgium side which they will be facing on Saturday.
France are favourites to win in two years’ time with Bet365 Bookies going 4/1 on the World Cup finalists while Germany and Spain are priced at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively.
Euro 2020 Outright Odds with Bet365
4/1 – France
5/1 – Germany
11/2 – Spain
8/1 – Belgium
8/1 – England
11/1 – Portugal
14/1 – Italy
20/1 – Netherlands
500/1 – Scotland