England’s Three Lions

England will be making their fourteenth appearance at a FIFA World Cup™.  Nicknamed The Three Lions, the British country first appeared at the 1950 edition in Brazil.  In 2014, the English find themselves in Group D alongside Costa Rica, Italy and Uruguay.

In qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, captain Steven Gerrard and his men had a bumpy ride but managed to earn themselves the top spot on group H, ahead of rivals Ukraine to gain automatic qualification.  In the last campaign, the Englishmen were knocked out of the competition in the Round of 16 at the hands of Germany who trashed them 4-1.  Having only won this tournament once on home soil in 1966, winning it again in Brazil will be far more memorable for everyone, from London to Birmingham.

Roy Hodgson is spoilt for choice in choosing his starting XI.  He has more then enough quality to see this tournament through.  The likes of the rejuvenated Daniel Sturridge, young and gifted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and the evergreen Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, who might be at the peak of his powers.

The Three Lions have appeared 13 times in the World Cup finals before.  The reality is that apart from the 1966 triumph, they have only been to the semi-finals one other occasion (Italia 90).  However the English press remain perennially optimistic although this has also been described as a chronic illusion by some critics.  Nevertheless, English supporters will be quietly optimistic that their team can progress from a group of death featuring two other World Cup winners in Italy and Uruguay, as well as minnows Costa Rica.