Man City fullback Walker lauds England boss Southgate

Dec 03, 2017, 01:12
Man City fullback Walker lauds England boss Southgate

When asked about England's chances of winning the tournament, World Cup victor Gordon Banks said: "If they start straightaway, getting some results, playing pretty well, then they'll stand a chance".

Gareth Southgate's side will face Tunisia in their opening game in Volgograd on June 18, a repeat of their first game in the 1998 World Cup in France, when goals from Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes gave England a 2-0 win in Marseille.

We've been good at writing teams off and then getting beaten by them haven't we?

Matthias Hangst  GettyImages
Matthias Hangst GettyImages

"It was a brilliant occasion so to be leading the country out into that same occasion, the first game of the World Cup, I am hugely proud".

Belgium's best World Cup finish came in 1986 when they finished fourth, and Martinez believes this sets them as outsiders for the Jules Rimet trophy.

Only last week, the same website brought us the image below, showing what they confidently state will be England's next home shirt. Southgate's under-stated approach will help, however, with the former England midfielder not prone to over-hyping his team.

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"Dele Alli and Harry Kane are exceptional players". They are pushing the likes of Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson.

Southgate is likely to be bold and give youth a chance, but the games against Tunisia and Panama will pose different challenges than the more obvious test that Belgium will pose and sometimes, experience is a greater commodity than youthful exuberance against dogged, well-organised opponents.

Will England get a harder or easier Group than the predicted draw? Defensively, they possess outstanding full-backs in Kyle Walker and Danny Rose, with Stones and Phil Jones also improving under their respective managers at Manchester City and Manchester United this season.

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Chief News Reporter Bryan Swanson will be reporting from the Red Square in the build up to the World Cup draw, live on Sky Sports News from 8am. The draw has been made and they can see the teams they are up against, where the games are situated and they have to travel to.

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