Nations League

Can England Top The Nations League?

It is fair to say that England suffered something of a post-World Cup slump as they failed to continue the momentum that was created after this summer's events in Russia. With the new Nations League on the horizon, the hope was that the Three Lions would take the competition in their stride.

However, an opening defeat to 2010 World Cup-winners Spain was followed by a bore draw against the side that knocked them out of the final four in the World Cup; that, of course, being Croatia. If the aim was to exact some form of revenge when the two sides went head to head in Rijeka last month, then it was one that was certainly not fulfilled.

This meant that Gareth Southgate's men had picked up just one point from a possible six that were on offer after the first two of four Nations League matches. A record that due to the nature of competition, one that only 3 or 4 teams per group produced a real threat of being demoted to Division B next time around.

But the tide has turned and there is optimism in the England camp once more as they produced a phenomenal display in Seville, when facing Spain for the second time in the competition. It was a result that has blown this mini-league wide open.

Not only that, but thanks to the impressive 3-2 win over Luis Enrique's men, fans and pundits alike are asking the question as to whether England can now go on and win the first ever edition of the Nations League.

When you take a look at the international football betting odds, England are currently fifth-favourites with bet365 at a price of 10/1, and when you consider that the competition moves on to the final four at the end of the season, it means they may well end up being the odd team out.

With England's destiny not strictly in their own hands, it is going to need Croatia to do them an almighty favour. That's a favour that would mean the World Cup finalists getting the better of Spain next week and then setting up a winner-takes-all clash at Wembley between England and Croatia in the final Group Four fixture.

If a grandstand finish is set up, then England will look to harness their fantastic result last time out and, in turn, finally put Croatia to the sword at Wembley. If they do that, then it means another busy summer will be on the horizon.

The experience gained through more international fixtures will not only give England the ideal opportunities to perfect the system that manager Gareth Southgate has put in place over the last couple of years, but also serve as ideal preparation for Euro 2020.

The Nations League may well be the new kid on the block as far as the international game goes, but it could well give England the perfect launchpad to create a legacy of legends. Especially when you consider the final of the European Championships will be played at Wembley, could success be written in the stars? We'll just have to wait and see.

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