sign up sign in

Is Football Coming Home? – England World Cup 2022 Preview

Despite making it to every World Cup since 1998, England’s past World Cup experiences have been ones of underachievement and disappointment. The worst run in recent times was in 2014 when Roy Hodgson’s side failed to progress from the group stage. They suffered defeats against Italy and Uruguay as well as a draw against Costa Rica. England’s most recent World Cup appearance was much better. They reached a Semi-Final in Russia, which ended in a 2-1 defeat in extra time against Croatia.

Even though England failed to reach the final, fans fell back in love with their national side for the first time in many years. Going into the World Cup, England is one of the favourites for the trophy at odds of 13/2. That puts them behind the favourites Brazil and France and just ahead of Argentina. Check out our football betting section for all the latest football odds.

Who do England play in the 2022 World Cup?

England head to Qatar alongside Iran, the USA, and Wales in Group B. England have never played Iran but have had positive results against the USA and Wales. That will provide the side with encouragement and belief.

The most recent was a 3-0 win against Wales in October 2020 at Wembley. Goals from Danny Ings, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Conor Coady helping secure victory for Gareth Southgate’s men.

The last time England played the USA was back in November 2018. That again saw England run out comfortable 3-0 winners. Southgate and his players will feel confident heading to Qatar that they can progress to the knockout phases with a bit in hand. However, England vs the USA has not always ended in victory for England. In 2010 the USA held the English to a 1-1 draw after Clint Dempsey’s long-range strike cancelled out an early Steven Gerrard goal.

Wales will be heading to the Middle East full of confidence after securing their place at their first World Cup since 1958. They achieved this after a playoff win against Ukraine. Rob Page will be hoping that the Welsh can achieve something similar to the 2016 Euro campaign when they reached the Semis. With a fully fit and in form Gareth Bale, nobody would write Wales off in terms of causing a few upsets.

The USA qualified for the World Cup after finishing 3rd place in their qualifying group behind Canada and Mexico. The most recent qualifying game saw them suffer defeat to Costa Rica in March. Heading to the World Cup, those from America will be hoping that key players stay injury free. They need Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), and Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United) to get on the plane in top form. With these players, the USA are capable of being a tough test for the likes of Wales, Iran, and also England.

Iran clinched its spot in Qatar as the winner of their group in Asia’s third round of qualifying. In 10 matches, Iran managed 8 wins, 1 draw, and just 1 loss to guarantee their third straight World Cup appearance. Iran goes to Qatar with no expectation and no pressure on them at all. As such, it will be interesting to see if they can cause a shock or two along the way.

Dates for England’s group stage games:

  • England vs Iran 21st November
  • England vs USA 25th November 
  • England vs Wales 29th November

England World Cup 2022 Route to the Final

If England were to progress from Group B as winners, they would play at Al Bayt Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, on December 4th against the runners-up of Group A (Qatar, Ecuador, Netherlands, or Senegal).

England would then face the possibility of coming up against one of the tournament favourites and defending champions France on December 10th. That depends on them being the winners of their group.

Should England progress this far, Belgium or Portugal could stand in England’s way in the Semi Final, which will be played on December 14th.

In the Final, Spain, Germany, and Brazil could stand in the way of football coming home. Here at BetConnect, we will have the best odds for all the games that England play at the 2022 World Cup.

Group Runners Up Possible Route

Were England to progress via being runners-up in their group, Group A winners, likely Netherlands or African Champions Senegal, would be England’s first opposition in the knockout phase on December 3rd.

As Group runners-up as well as last-16 winners, The Three Lions would continue their journey and could play Argentina or Denmark in the last eight.

England’s journey to the World Cup semi-finals after finishing second in the group stages would potentially see a last-four tie against Spain, Germany, or Brazil.

France, Belgium, or Portugal would be England’s potential opponents were they to reach the final on December 18 after finishing runners-up in Group B.

What is the Expected Squad for the 2022 World Cup?

With no more international breaks remaining before the start of the World Cup in November, this is our prediction for the potential 26-man squad Southgate could choose for the upcoming tournament. 

Goalkeepers (3): Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale.

Defenders (11): Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Fikayo Tomori, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ben White.

Midfielders (5): Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount, Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse.

Forwards (7): Tammy Abraham, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford.

With the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Jarrod Bowen, and Jadon Sancho all missing from this squad, there is no denying that Gareth Southgate has a selection headache when it comes to deciding on his final squad for the World Cup. With players such as Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw not playing regularly, however, their place in the squad may be in major doubt despite their past performances for the national side.

One thing for sure is Harry Kane won’t be making any plans while the World Cup is being played. He’s all but certain to be representing England at the World Cup should he remain fit and injury free. Currently, the England captain is a favourite for the tournament’s golden boot, with Sky Bet currently offering odds of 7/1. This is closely followed by French phenom Kylian Mbappe, looking to follow up with consecutive World Cup victories, coming in at 8/1. Star names such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi closely follow, with odds of 14/1 to claim the title of the top goalscorer. Something both players would be aiming for due to it likely being their last World Cup tournament.

Players Who Could Break Into The Squad

Several players who are playing regularly from now till the beginning of the World Cup will be hoping to capitalise on those who are not playing or are not in form.

James Maddison is one of these players with ambitions of making the squad. Maddison managed 20 G/A last season. With players such as Grealish, Mount and Foden all in his position, however, Maddison’s chances may be slim. Currently, the Leicester starlet is 13/8 to make the final World Cup squad. That’s definitely warranted when taking a look at his recent impressive form leading up to the tournament. That is despite currently playing in a disappointing and underperforming side.

Jack Harrison could also be one of the players with an outside chance of making the squad. The Leeds United wide man is yet to be called up to an England squad. If he continues providing goal contributions though, he must be considered for selection. Southgate has shown he is willing to offer opportunities to players who are in form. Most recently that’s been shown with Jarrod Bowen and Ivan Toney. The Leeds wideman is currently 22/1 to be picked by Southgate. Again, the stiff competition in his position could see him miss out.

The most recent player who has been handed a call-up is Ivan Toney. Toney has proved he can score goals at Premier League level despite being doubted after winning the Golden Boot in the Championship. He’ll be hoping he can continue scoring goals to see him on the plane over the likes of Ollie Watkins. The Brentford target man is currently 2/5 to be stepping on the plane to Qatar. With his set-piece specialities often rare to come by when it comes to strikers, as well as his current outstanding form, its more and more likely that he will be picked for his first major international tournament.

Players Who Could Offer Something Unique

One player who could offer a different option to the ones at Euro 2020/21 is James Ward-Prowse. The Saints man is undeniably one of the best set piece takers in the Premier League. James Ward-Prowse was left out of the final Euro squad, and many believe the side missed the quality he brings from dead ball situations as players such as Kieran Trippier weren’t often on the pitch.

Fans also believe Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham could bring something unique to the side. He can play in a variety of positions in midfield and is one of the best young talents in world football. Bellingham offers box-to-box qualities as well as being able to find the pass. That could unlock defences that Rice and Phillips might not be able to execute.

One thing for certain is that Southgate has options to choose from, but it won’t be easy. Regardless of the squad he picks, every fan and pundit is going to have something to say based on who they believe should be in or out of the squad.

England World Cup 2022 Prediction

In this section, we answer the question: is Football Coming Home? Put simply, probably not. It’s a high level of competition currently with star player-littered squads. Add that to England’s recent form, it is difficult to see the Three Lions taking home the prestigious golden trophy. 

When looking back at some previous tournaments, the England squad have been eliminated at various stages. Currently, the Three Lions are 6/1 to be eliminated in the group stage round. After the 2020 Euros loss to Italy, they are 5/1 to be eliminated by a penalty shootout in any knockout game. Not to be too pessimistic, England are also 5/1 to win a penalty shootout at any stage. That’s something England fans would love to see at a major tournament taking into consideration their previous falters.

We predict England to win the group, with the squad currently 4/11 to win their relatively uncompetitive group. They are 1/16 to simply qualify from it. In addition to this, England are also 15/8 to win every one of their group stage games. That’s a potentially likely feat when considering the sides they will be facing come November.

Should the side progress out of the group stages, they are currently 4/9 to reach the quarter-finals. That is where we predict the side will fall short as they’re likely to play reigning champions France. Should the Three Lions make it past the French giants, you can find them at 6/4 to reach the semi-finals. They are then 10/3 to make it to the final game.

World Cup 2022 Favourites

Brazil, England, and France are heading to Qatar as the sides that the bookies fancy the most. France are the defending champions and will be hoping to retain their title. Kylian Mbappe will be hoping for a better national tournament after a disappointing European championship by his high standards. The majority of bookies have France available at odds of 5/1.  

Brazil go to Qatar off the back of losing the final of the Copa America. Bookies believe Brazil are the favourites for the trophy and they are widely available at 9/2 currently. The five-time winners have world-class talent playing all over Europe’s top leagues. In fact, they could arguably field two starting 11’s capable of winning this tournament. Neymar and co will be hoping to improve on their Quarter Final exit in 2018 against Belgium.

It is hard to see past the Brazilians for the trophy. You can’t write off Spain though who reached the Euro Semi-Final and lost on penalties. Spain are currently 8/1 to win the tournament. We think this is a great price on a team with some fantastic youngsters who play some delightful football. We believe England will reach the Quarter Final but again will crash out due to their defensive approach to games. Whatever the outcome, We are sure it’s going to be a fascinating watch for football fans all around the globe.