England Soccer Betting Odds
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Nicknames: Three Lions
Head coach: Fabio Capello
Captain: John Terry
Most caps: Peter Shilton (125)
Top scorer: Sir Bobby Charlton (49)
Home stadium: Wembley Stadium
England is the birthplace of the game - the world's first national association, the first national cup, the first national league and involved in the first international match (0-0 v Scotland). The FA Cup, the first real competitive tournament of any kind, began in 1871.
The Premier League is widely regarded as the most popular and most competitive of all the world's football leagues. Additionally the strength in depth of English football is unmatched, with average attendance in the 2nd tier Football League Championship surpassing all but a handful of the world's top-tier leagues and a professional structure that reaches down to the 5th tier Football Conference Premier League. In short England continues to be the epicenter of this great game of ours and will be as long into the future as we can see.
English National Team
England's earliest international matches were nearly always successes, at least against teams from outside the British Isles. The Scots and (to a lesser extent) the Welsh and Irish proved consistently formidable opponents. It wasn't until the late 1920s that England lost their first match against a non-British team (Spain) and not until 1953, fully 83 years (!) after their first match that England lost at home to a non-British team. That loss, 6-3 to Hungary, is still remembered as a seismic shift in English football's perception of the footballing world outside. Nearly as bad (though less remembered) was the 7-1 loss to Hungary the following year in a return match in Budapest.
England gradually learned these lessons and, under the capable leadership of manager Alf Ramsey, finally put together a team worthy of representing the birthplace of football. England reached the 1966 World Cup as hosts and put together a magnificent tournament, culminating in the famous 4-2 extra time victory over West Germany which a Geoff Hurst hat trick and controversial goal that may or may not have crossed the line.
Expectations have only increased with each failure at international level and England's inability to match that success. The closest England have come was the 1990 World Cup (semifinals) and 1996 European Championship (semifinals). In both cases England lost on penalties and both times to Germany cementing one of the country's enduring rivalries.
The second most important rivalry in English football (besides "cross-border" clashes with Scotland) is with Argentina. With the backdrop of the Falklands War fresh in both nation's memories, England and Argentina met in the 1986 World Cup. England were swept aside by Argentina and Diego Maradona, who scored two of the most famous goals ever on the World stage - one for dribbling past virtually the entire England team and one for punching through with the "Hand of God" as he later described it. The two countries met in another sizzling encounter in 1998 (2-2 with Argentina winning on penalties and David Beckham being red carded) and again in a first round game in 2002.
FIFA 2014 World Cup Group D
2014 World Cup Game Schedule
|Jun 14||Uruguay||1-3||Costa Rica||Fortaleza||4:00 PM|
|Jun 14||England||1-2||Italy||Manaus||6:00 PM|
|Jun 19||Uruguay||2-1||England||Sao Paulo||4:00 PM|
|Jun 20||Italy||0-1||Costa Rica||Recife||1:00 PM|
|Jun 24||Italy||0-1||Uruguay||Natal||1:00 PM|
|Jun 24||Costa Rica||0-0||England||Belo Horizonte||1:00 PM|
UEFA World Cup Qualifiers
The Union of European Football Associations, almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer. UEFA represents most of the national football associations of Europe, runs national and club competitions in its area, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those competitions. Due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia transcontinental nations such as Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, and Russia, are members of the UEFA rather than AFC, as are Israel and Cyprus which lie entirely in Asia.