The FIFA World Cup, 2022 is just moments away from kick-off, as we look into England and their chances, with Liverpool duo into the squad.
Among all the 32 teams participating in the World Cup in Qatar, England are one of the favorites to all the way to win it. England, the 1966 World Cup winners are still looking to get their hands on the trophy for the last many decades, but all in vain.
The Three Lions squad, led by coach Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane, previously came close in the 2018 World Cup. The team reached the semis but were left heartbroken by the Croatian side. Since the 2018 edition, Southgate’s side has had a fantastic Euros campaign reaching the finals, however, again their ill fate came knocking as they lost to Italy on penalties.
So having come so close to lifting the significant trophies, is this at Qatar they will finally cross the line? Well it’s too early will say
So let’s understand Gareth Southgate’s England Squad for the World Cup, including two Liverpool players.
England World Cup 2022: Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander Arnold in
Liverpool’s captain fantastic Jordan Henderson and right-back Trent Alexander Arnold make it into England’s 26-man World Cup squad. The duo who has been influential in recent years for Jurgen Klopp leads the Liverpool side.
Before the squad announcement, there were headline talks about right-back Trent’s inclusion into the World Cup squad. The talented right-back, had hiccups early into the 2022-23 season, criticized by football pundits for his defensive attributes. With England’s right-back slot filled with some serious talents, Trent’s place for World Cup was under real threat. However, injuries to Walker and James, with the former now fully fit, meant all guarantees for the Liverpool No. 66.
Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson, the hard-working midfielder who has been a regular for Southgate, had a minor doubt after picking up a couple of niggling injuries. The 32-year-old’s availability and his presence in the dressing will certainly boost Southgate, given his achievements as a captain of Liverpool.
Moreover, there are reports coming up on Maddison’s fitness, as the Leicester man missed training for the second consecutive day. The midfielder suffered a hamstring injury in the Foxes’ win over Hammers, in the final game before winter break, which is now a serious concern.
England aims to end World Cup drought in Qatar
Gareth Southgate’s era with England National team will rightly be considered successful. Since taking up Three Lions’ hot seat in 2016, the manager has managed the side filled with some fantastic young talents leading them to semis and finals of the 2018 World Cup and 2020 Euros respectively.
But there is no denying that every generation of English football has had excellent players such as David Beckham, Gary Linekar, Alen Shearer, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and many more. However, England has come across numerous disappointments when it comes to the major International campaign.
Since lifting the World Cup in 1966, the English side’s best finish since then is the fourth-placed finish in the 1990 and 2018 World Cups. Penalty shootout nervousness, controversial refereeing, and poor performances against weaker teams have been some of the reasons for the team’s failures even with the presence of big names in the squad.
However, Southgate’s England side looks altogether different, with a sense of togetherness in the squad, with the excellent ingredient of excellent young and senior players making the team stable in the quest for international glory. Players such as Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, and the list goes on, Southgate’s team is filled with assets who are ready to give their all on the pitch.
Southgate prefers 3-4-1-2 and 3-4-3 formations and will be relieved to see Kyle Walker back on the side. Walker is sure to take up the right center back side. Moreover, the England manager tends to favor and be loyal to several players, in his tenure so far, and one such name is Harry Maguire, who despite his poor form for his club, is his first-choice defender in the middle of three center-backs, alongside Tottenham’s Eric Dier.
Similarly, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is sure to take up duties in between the post, despite the strong performances of Aron Ramsdale of Arsenal. Moreover, Trippier is the first-choice right-back role as Ben White and Trent Alexander Arnold are also in the mix. However, questions come in who plays as left-back?
With the absence of Ben Chilwell, the left-back slot looks like the weakest link, as Luke Shaw is the only recognized left back, however, Southgate could deploy Bukayo Saka, who initially started his Arsenal career as a full-back.
Moreover, in the middle of the park as a middle pivot, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham are the two strong midfield. It will be intriguing to see how these two fair, as it is Rice who is naturally strong in shielding the backline, meanwhile Bellingham poses attacking threats expert in jaw-dropping passes.
However, the team lacks a genuine wing threat, with over-reliance on their full-backs. This means, Tripper and Saka from the right and left flanks respectively can be very dangerous with their threatening crosses, and late runs in behind.
Southgate has a big headache in selecting, attacking options, as captain Harry Kane will surely lead the attack and the team’s biggest goal threat. With options such as Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka, James Maddison, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling, and Marcus Rashford, England has plenty of attacking threats to part captain Kane.
However, all being said, the inclusion of Bellingham and if fit Maddison, will surely bring a breath of fresh air into the team.