We are now a matter of months away from the greatest show on turf descending upon Qatar. In late November, a World Cup circus will roll into the Middle East and set up camp for what promises to be four action-packed weeks.
Any number of sides will have their sights set on the ultimate prize. With there enough talent possessed from America to Australia to suggest that a battle for global supremacy will be keenly contested. Only one will emerge victorious, though, as 31 others are left to reflect on what could have been.
Five-time winners Brazil are earning plenty of support in football betting tips today, while reigning champions France and an exciting Spain squad are also expected to go well. It would be foolish to write off an Argentina side that can call upon the services of Lionel Messi. While Cristiano Ronaldo will be on show for Portugal and Belgium have one last shot at glory with their so-called ‘Golden Generation’.
1966 – @England ??????? pic.twitter.com/i2bSawKAIn
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 7, 2022
Then, of course, there is England. The Three Lions have come agonisingly close in recent tournaments to bringing their long wait for major silverware to a close. Defeat in the last four at the 2018 World Cup and more penalty shootout heartache against Italy in the final of Euro 2020 have, however, extended that barren run to 56 years.
There is no doubting that Gareth Southgate has the ability at his disposal to go one better in 2022 and bring half a century of sporting pain to a close. He will, however, have some big decisions to make when piecing together. A 26-man party to go in search of ultimate honours.
Plenty of places in the England ranks are already wrapped up. Injury permitting, with the likes of national captain Harry Kane, Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling and Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford seemingly assured of their tickets on the plane.
Other spots remain very much up for grabs, with there certain individuals. Who find themselves in danger of slipping down an international pecking order at precisely the wrong moment. With there a four-year wait to be taken in between any World Cup finals. Timing is everything at the very highest level.
During the summer of 2021, Jack Grealish appeared to have cemented himself as a go-to option for Southgate. Jack Grealish may not have been a guaranteed starter. But there was plenty of game time for him as the West Midlands native. Became something of a fan favourite.
Off the mark for the #ThreeLions!
? @JackGrealish pic.twitter.com/641vUWn5Dc
— England (@England) October 9, 2021
He then smashed the British transfer record. When making a £100 million move to Manchester City and looked set to become a talismanic figure for club and country. Best intentions there have not played out as planned.
Grealish is now a Premier League title winner, but goals and assists – his bread and butter – have been hard to come by domestically. He also faces fierce competition for places at the Etihad Stadium. That cause not being aided by unfortunate stints on the side-lines. The emergence of alternatives in the England ranks suggestion. He could be sweating on his spot with a World Cup clock ticking.