Danny Murphy has done a World Cup preview for Betway, and for anyone looking to gamble on the tournament it’s a must read – especially if they’re considering backing England.
The former Fulham midfielder’s take on the World Cup betting is as subtle as you’d expect from a man who made a career from knitting midfields together.
Firstly he addressed the squad that Gareth Southgate had taken with him to Qatar. One of the main controversies that faced the England boss was that surrounding James Maddison, who had played well for an extended period but didn’t look like he’d have time to force his way back into Southgate’s plans.
The England coach has been strong in the face of pressure, and in this case he did select the attacking midfielder – but it didn’t feel like a populist decision. He remained firm in other areas, so the call up for Maddison felt deserved, and Murphy was delighted to see a creative wild card added to the mix.
His prediction for Group B was that England would go through – but he’s clearly a big fan of the USA team playing in Qatar too. He called them,
“young, hungry and super fit.”
He focused on their amazing fitness levels – something that regularly impressed from American players at major tournaments – but also noted the increasing amount of Premier League experience running through their side.
That includes Chelsea man Christian Pulisic, who has a point to prove not only for his country – having missed the last World Cup – but also to Blues fans who have largely given up on him even being the player they hoped he would be.
Just imagine how much he would love to stick it to the English fans who don’t rate him with a goal against them for the USA?
Ultimately, when it came down to predicting how well the Three Lions would do in the tournament, Murphy comes down with the kind of balanced take you’d expect from a solid pundit like him. His prediction – that England will make the semi finals but go no further – is pretty much on the dot what the bookies have them doing.
Southgate’s team have already exceeded his prediction for the scoreline in the first game as they battered Iran 6-2 rather than the 3-0 Murphy suggested.
Could they outdo his modest prediction of their finishing position too? You can back them at decent odds to make the final at the bookies if you think so.