Friday, 11 June 2010
Whether it is the fear of losing, lack of fitness or early tournament nerves England have consistently struggled to grab all three points in their recent opening matches at International tournaments.
The predictions for the England squad are varied when you compare football opinion, but one is for certain and that's a quick look at the history books shows that since 1986 The Three Lions have only won their opener on two occasions – against Paraguay in 2006 and Tunisia in 1998.
The 1-0 victory over the South Americans in Germany was also the first time in that period England have won their first game and also gone on win their group.
Altogether, including European Championships, England have won two, lost four and drawn four of their opening games since Mexico ’86. Certainly a worrying statistic as England prepare to face the USA in what will arguably be their toughest group game of the 2010 World Cup.
However, despite their stuttering starts England have never failed to make it out of their World Cup group in that time; suggesting they have enough bouncebackability on the biggest stage to get results in the second and third matches.
The difference this time around is the possible opponents in the knock-out stage. Germany are lurking in Group D and with the old enemy almost certain to top their group (they always do don’t they?!) England will want to avoid playing them for as long as possible – topping Group C will make their path to the latter stages a whole lot easier.
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