It’s almost time for the World Cup to get underway and as ever fans of the game are excited and making their predictions, especially for how they hope their home nation will perform.

In England there is a mix of expectations from fans. Gareth Southgate took England to the semi-final and final in his last two tournaments, which was unexpected at the time by many, but as the tournaments progressed so did the anticipation and expectation. England narrowly missed out both times, losing to Croatia in extra-time at the 2018 World Cup semi-final and then on penalties against Italy at Euro 2020.

Now some England fans think England can build on past efforts and take their experience to go one further and win the tournament, while others have argued they might have run out of steam and need a change of system to progress into the tournament after some recent poor results in International games.

The bookies have England as the fourth favourites to win the World Cup, behind only Argentina, Brazil and France, and their first game against Iran might give us a good idea of which way the tournament could go. Most people expect England to win that game comfortably but we’ve seen some big shocks at previous World Cups.

England’s next games against Wales and USA might be bigger challenges, but the strength of England’s squad means you’d expect to see them progress and that’s where it can get really interesting.

Harry Kane was the Golden Boot winner at the last World Cup and he’s two goals behind Rooney’s goalscoring record for England so he’ll be hoping to break some records as well as taking England through the tournament as the main man for goals.

Jude Bellingham is going to be great player to watch too, and he’s expected to be selected in the starting line-up by Southgate in the opening game. Despite his young age he is a natural leader and can control a game from midfield, alongside another leader in Declan Rice. Sterling and Foden are also expected to start, with Saka also on top form fighting for a place giving some healthy competition which is always great for a team to push each other further.

As much as I would like to see England do well and have the belief to perform better than they have in recent months, being connected to the Dutch I would of course like to see Holland do better. My overall pick is Brazil and Argentina, but feel Brazil will take it all. #mmlove