How can England qualify for the World Cup knockout stages?

Well, that was fun.

England were once a side that used to begin major tournaments with a whimper. Think the drab draw with Sweden in 2002, the unconvincing triumph over Paraguay in 2006, and Rob Green’s blunder against the Americans. A steady improvement would then ensue, gradually building expectation before an inevitable disappointing exit in the knockout phase.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions do things a little differently, however.

Their 6-2 thumping of Iran was their third straight opening game victory at a major tournament. The comfortable triumph has left them on the verge of qualifying…


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