Current Fifa Ranking : 13th with 1044 points
World Cup Appearances : 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010
Best Achievement : Winners in 1966
Head Coach : Roy Hodgson
Captain : Steven Gerrard
The air of optimism around the current Three Lions setup is not as high as usual going into this World Cup. With a mixed qualifying campaign which ended strongly, Hodgson has a squad which would be twice as more dangerous if the players took national football as serious as club football.
Drawn in the group of death, pitted against the likes of Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica, this is one group which they would have rather avoided. In Suarez, Uruguay have one of the best current strikers in world football. Following their Euro 2012 exit on penalties to Italy, the next encounter may prove to be tricky considering that the Italians are currently tighter than they were then. Under-estimating Costa Rica would also be an attribute to avoid.
Individually, England has a range of highly rated players. In goal, the faith is in Hart, who still has the abilities necessary for a top goalkeeper. The Three Lions defence is also robust containing the likes of Chelsea’s Ashley Cole, Manchester United’s Phil Jones and Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott. A good mixture of young and old encompass the midfield, with Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard as team captain, Chelsea’s Frank Lampard and Arsenal duo Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott. Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge are currently considered as the only consistent and dependable strikers, with both West Ham’s Andy Carroll and Tottenham Hotspurs’ Jermaine Defoe both out of form at club level.
England will need their main man Wayne Rooney to step up in order to assure progression into the last 32 of the competition. Whilst they have improved well under the guidance of Hodgson, they will also need to focus strictly on their football during the tournament. Should that be the case, this shall indeed be a group of death, with chances of progression up in the air and up to actions on the field.