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World Cup: England Preview

England is not in the toughest group, but they have not done well in the last few World Cups and have not progressed past the quarterfinals since 1990.

England is in Group C along with the USA, Slovenia, and Algeria.
Bovada has England at +600 to win the World Cup and at -300 to win Group C.

Even though the USA and Slovenia rank in the top 25 in the world according to FIFA rankings, Algeria ranks 31st, none of the teams in Group C have the quality that England has. If England does not play disappointing soccer like the last few World Cup tournaments they should win Group C, but you never know, as they are known for the unknown.

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England has played in 12 of the 15 World Cup tournaments that have been played and they won the event in 1966 and were a quarter finalist in 1990.

There were no surprises this time around in World Cup qualifying for England, as they went undefeated in group play until the final match, which meant nothing for them. England did not have an easy group with Ukraine and Croatia, which knocked them out of the 2008 European Championship qualifications. They got some revenge on the Croats not only beating them twice, including a pasting in Zagreb, but losing to Ukraine in the last match, which, pretty much, sealed Croatia’s fate.

England is one of the better tactical squads in the World Cup, as they have solid players at every position with the exception of in goal. Chelsea’s John Terry and Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand anchor a solid defense, Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard is a rock in the midfield, and up front they feature Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. England is not an easy squad to score on and they will take advantage of the scoring opportunities they get.

The weakness of the English squad is their goalkeeping and their lack of creativity and control when they play elite teams. There are no real elite teams in group play, but if and when they progress to the playoffs it is a major issue.

Head coach Fabio Capello has won a lot of titles whether it be with Real Madrid, AC Milan, or Juventus, and this World Cup may be his swan song. He has all the success at the club level and has a lot of pressure to deliver a good World Cup for England this summer in South Africa.

England has the squad to go all the way, but can they do it? They have world-class players and do not have a tough draw, but they have to perform on the pitch, which is something that has eluded them in the past few World Cups.

The English will be the favorite in each of their matches, but their opening one against the Americans may be their stiffest test.

England World Cup Schedule

6/12/2010 England vs. USA
6/18/2010 England vs. Algeria
6/23/2010 Slovenia vs. England