England’s preparations for the World Cup have gone smoothly, recording two comfortable victories over Nigeria and Costa Rica in their two warm-up matches. Manager Gareth Southgate has hinted at his starting line-up for his team’s Group G opener against Tunisia on June 18th, although a number of players have pressed their claims to be included in his team for the Three Lions’ first match.
The team appear to have approached the tournament with a vigour and a relaxed attitude missing from England sides of the past due to the ease of their two victories. Southgate’s men are entering the FIFA World Cup with minimal expectations after the team failed to progress from the group stage, while they were knocked out of their last major tournament, Euro 2016, in the second round by Iceland. As a result, the only way is up for this Three Lions’ side, although there will be obstacles ahead of them.
England will be based in St Petersburg for the duration of their stay in the competition. However, that decision to be based in the northern edge of the country could come back to haunt the team and the Football Association due to the location of their matches. According to Betway Insider, the Three Lions will travel double the distance of their opponents Tunisia and Panama, while they have a further 2,000km to cover than Belgium during the opening three rounds of the competition.