England World Cup Team Preview
Odds to Win World Cup: +600
Always a favorite, particularly of the European punters, Team England enters the 2010 World Cup full of a sense of optimism that they can go all the way in South Africa.
How They Got Here: The British were knocked behind the eight-ball on the global scene a few years ago when they failed to qualify for Euro 2008. Qualification for the World Cup was never in doubt though, as they won nine of their ten matches and scored a UEFA best 34 goals in the process.
Player to Watch: There is just a ton of star power for the Three Lions, but the man to really keep an eye on is Manchester United F Wayne Rooney. Rooney, who started his English Premiership career at just 16 years old, now has a whopping 106 goals playing domestically in the EPL. Rooney is the youngest man to ever don the red and white for England, making his first international appearance at 17 years old and scoring his first goal that year as well. The Man U striker has 25 career goals playing for his country, nine of which came in qualifying for this World Cup.
Previous World Cup Experience: England has qualified for 11 previous World Cups and does have a championship under its belt from 1966 when it was the host nation. However, the next best showing that England has ever had was in the 1990 tournament when it was knocked out in the semifinals. The British knocked off Ecuador in the Round of 16 in the 2006 World Cup only to get dismissed by Portugal on penalties after a scoreless 120 minutes in the quarterfinals.
Key to Advancing: If England doesn't qualify for the knockout round of this tournament, you can bet that there are going to be heads rolling for it. The Brits may have the easiest road to the Round of 16 in the field, so the only thing that manager Fabio Capello is going to have to do is to keep his squad's feet on the ground and qualification should be a cinch. If England doesn't score at least seven goals in three qualifying matches, we would be very, very surprised.
Predictions: This really could be England's year. Though winning Group C isn't a certainty, it will surely be decided with three points against the United States in the opening game of its tournament. The only hassle could come in the form of a potential second round date with Germany, but even if that happens to be how this plays out, the Brits shouldn't have much to worry about, particularly with the Germans playing without M Michael Ballack. There also aren't many teams in Group A or B that England shouldn't be able to take care of either. However, on the other half of the draw, there are too many walking time bombs. We expect to see England amongst the final four in South Africa, but winning the World Cup may be just too tall of a task.
Round 1 Schedule
England vs. United States (June 12th, 2:30 PM ET, Rustenburg)
England vs. Algeria (June 18th, 2:30 PM ET, Cape Town)
Slovenia vs. England (June 23rd, 10:00 AM ET, Nelson Mandela Bay)
All Odds for 2010 World Cup from Brobury Sports
|Odds to Win Group C|
United States +420
Odds to Advance Group C
United States -175
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