3 Reasons Why England May Not Win the World Cup
If someone told you at the beginning of the World Cup that England will lift the trophy at the end of the tournament, you would either think he’s joking or he may not know what he’s talking about. Yet, with The Three Lions is heading straight into the quarter-finals, the football-is-coming-home idea is actually starting to seem believable.
A dramatic victory over Colombia means not only did England just win their first successful shoot-out ever in the World Cup, but they’re also just two matches away from the final, and being in a supposedly easier route to reach that final.
Plus the fact that the stronger contenders like Germany, Argentina, Spain – and eventually, Brazil – have been eliminated already.
One thing that seems like a key factor to all the hype is the shoot-out victory. Optimism may not have been this high had The Three Lions beaten The Cafeteros in a normal 90-minute match.
A simple 1-0 would’ve sufficed, but then England would’ve still been haunted by their woeful shootout record. So now that they’ve lifted the curse, nothing can stop them to finally say “welcome home” to the football itself.
But we should’ve known better than football can never be predicted that easy, especially at this particular World Cup. Let’s first take a look at three factors that can simply turn the whole scheme into a mere fantasy.
Also read: England's Predicted Playing XI vs Sweden
#1 England's record against quarter-final opponents Sweden
Many think that when England lost to Belgium in the last match of the group, they did it on purpose so that they won't end up on the other side of the draw which is arguably harder with teams such as France and Brazil. But if that was really the case, there’s a chance that they may have done that for nothing.
While admittedly a match against those teams would give anyone a hard time, the Swedish team is not exactly the kind of opponent that England should be happy to face either. Janne Andersson’s men may not be the strongest of them all, but judging from the head-to-head record, the match will potentially be tough for England.
Both teams have gone face-to-face 8 times in major tournaments, and England is trailing behind with only one victory. The Swedish got a slightly better result with two wins, while the other five ended with a draw.
Sweden won 3 of their 4 matched whilst Gareth Southgate’s boys only won two in normal time. England is more productive with 9 goals compared to 6, but the yellow and blue side has a better defence, conceding just 2 goals in 4 matches.
And finally, don’t forget the fact that Sweden managed to finish at the top of the group which had defending champions Germany and potential dark horses Mexico. That alone should be enough to tell England that they must never underestimate them.