England highlighted their credentials for the 2022 World Cup with a 2-1 win over Switzerland in their friendly clash at Wembley Stadium. The Three Lions prevailed with a comeback victory over the Swiss, despite being without a number of key players for the contest.
Gareth Southgate went into the game without Kyle Walker, John Stones, Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Kieran Trippier, Kalvin Phillips and Bukayo Saka, thrusting Marc Guehi, Kyle Walker-Peters, Ben White and Conor Gallagher into starting roles, while Tyrick Mitchell made his bow off the bench.
England still had experience on the field with skipper Harry Kane along with Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford. The fact that the Three Lions were able to see off a quality Switzerland outfit, who were unbeaten in their last 10 matches in all competitions, without a large portion of their starting side bodes extremely well for another deep run in a major tournament. England progressed to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup before losing out to Croatia, and then advanced all the way to the final of Euro 2020 where they were beaten on penalties by Italy.
As a result, the Three Lions are one of the leading contenders for the World Cup in Qatar, but knowing their history there is a gamble in backing them to succeed. Therefore, using one of the free betsÂ no deposit bonuses that are available when signing up to a new bookmaker could be a worthwhile measure. There are a number of sportsbooks that provide the option, with offers ranging up to $100 in free bets when registering with the bookie. England’s odds are ranging at +800 to win the competition, making them a compelling price to go all the way to secure the crown for the first time since 1966, and by using a free bet your options are covered for a loss.
England’s depth stands them in great stead for the tournament as Guehi, Walker-Peters and Gallagher fitted seamlessly into the line-up in their first starts. Walker-Peters and Gallagher particularly shone in the win over Switzerland as the two combined to tee up Luke Shaw for England’s equaliser, with the latter winning the ball before Gallagher found the full-back on the edge of the box.
Gallagher has been a standout for Crystal Palace in the 2021/22 Premier League season, and he will be pushing for a place in Southgate’s squad for the tournament, especially if he can earn a starting spot at his parent club Chelsea in the opening months of the 2022/23 campaign. He offers a different dynamic in the midfield from Declan Rice, Henderson, Phillips and Mason Mount, but the competition from Jude Bellingham may edge him out of the squad. Gallagher faces a crucial opening burst to next season.
Guehi has impressed at Palace alongside Gallagher after leaving Chelsea on a permanent basis. He was stout at the back for the Three Lions, and will be pressing Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Conor Coady and John Stones for a place in the line-up, while Fikayo Tomori will also be under consideration due to his excellence at AC Milan. There is ample competition for places in the defence without one truly outstanding centre-back.
The wing-back/full-back roles are also stacked with Walker-Peters proving that he was up to the task of replacing Walker, James, Trippier and Alexander-Arnold. It would take a dramatic injury run for Walker-Peters to make the squad as even Alexander-Arnold was overlooked for the Euros, but he has made a decent case should he be required in relief.
Southgate is so blessed with a talented pool of players that his predecessors will be cursing their luck. It will be up to the manager to ensure that he maximises the ability of his squad in Qatar for another deep surge in a major tournament.