Eng­land $18

Inside Sport - - Punter's Chance -

The English are ahead of their usual state of mind pre-tour­na­ment – they’ve zipped right ahead to ac­cep­tance, writ­ing off 2018 and look­ing to the day that their youth world cham­pi­ons pull on the man-sized Three Lions shirt. There have been calls to blood the likes of Liver­pool teen Trent Alexan­der-Arnold, which might not be a bad idea.

But there’s some un­due haste in writ­ing off this cam­paign, par­tic­u­larly be­cause a frisky Eng­land could be fun: Harry Kane at the head of the a”ack, Dele Alli and Ra­heem Ster­ling (above) prov­ing their world-class bona fides. There are ques­tions about the de­fence and in goal. But if noth­ing else, the foot­ball gods hope­fully won’t pun­ish Eng­land with an exit on penal­ties – it might be too much for coach Gareth South­gate, who al­ready suf­fers from that ig­nominy as a player, to bear.

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