England Team - 2014 World Cup Betting
Best Finish: Won in 1966
Manager: Roy Hodgson
Captain: Steven Garrard
Key Player: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Group D: With Costa Rica, Italy and Uruguay
Although they have a long and storied World Cup history, England's 2014 qualifying efforts won't exactly go down in lore. The team had a pretty favorable draw in UEFA Group H, but they struggled to qualify until right at the end. Yes, England was undefeated in 10 matches, going 6-4-0 (W-D-L) in UEFA play. But they played to ties at Poland and Montenegro, and got some fierce competition from Ukraine (6-3-1) for the lone automatic qualifying spot.
However, they are here, nonetheless, and once again boast a solid team. Many look at this Cup as an experience-builder for a very young English squad. Andros Townsend, Ross Barkley and Jack Whilshere will definitely do well by logging some quality minutes in Brazil.
One guy who doesn't need any experience from this team is Wayne Rooney. Now, Rooney has had some problems over the years with fitness, discipline and off-field ordeals. But his mind and shape definitely seem good this time around as the Man U player scored seven goals during qualifying. Assuming Rooney stays on, he's capable of being a huge difference-maker in any World Cup match.
A couple of players who'll be offering Rooney some support in the goal department are midfielder Frank Lampard and forward Danny Welbeck. This duo scored four goals a piece during UEFA play and will no doubt be threats to add more in the 2014 World Cup.
The pros of having a star player like Rooney and good scoring support are sometimes offset by a lack of defensive depth. This didn't really show while playing mediocre teams during their 10-match qualifying phase, as the "Three Lions" roared to 31 goals against only four scored by opponents. However, it could be a problem when facing some of the more elite teams in knockout rounds.
Because of their youth, not many people are predicting a run to the World Cup Finals for England. But an appearance in the Last 16 or Quarterfinals certainly isn't out of question for this team.