Football News

England’s World Cup 2022 squad odds: Will a star emerge in the next 15 months?

By Ben Green

Published: 16:57, 29 August 2021 | Updated: 15:44, 24 January 2022

Too soon? Not if you’re an aspiring England player, or just missed out on a spot at Euro 2020. The next 15 months will prove career-defining for some players as the Road to Qatar begins. 

Misty-eyed England fans will not be quick to forget the events that unfolded at Wembley as Gianluigi Donnarumma transformed into Gianluigi Buffon 2.0 and almost single-handedly won Italy the Euro 2020 title, inflicting further penalty shootout woe on Gareth Southgate.

However, the seeds of a succesful side have been sown by Southgate. He has now led the Three Lions to a World Cup semi-final and a European Championship final. If you have a penchant for patterns, the next logical step in that sequence is for Harry Kane to be holding the Jules Rimet Trophy aloft next year, right?

Unfortunately, the beauty of football is such that it rarely sticks to a pattern; it’s the unpredictability that makes sport unique. In 15 months a lot can change. Between Russia 2018 and Euro 2020 a lot also changed. Think of how different the two squads were in such a short period of time.

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The likes of Declan Rice, Jack Grealish, Kalvin Phillips, Tyrone Mings, Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Reece James, Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell were all tournament debutants this summer. Such a dense hotbed of talent to emerge and rise to prominence in just two years from Russia.

So, will there be another gem who bursts onto the scene this season? Will the likes of Mason Greenwood and James Maddison become world class by Qatar 2022? Will Trent Alexander-Arnold continue his Cafu tribute act and be the main No. 2? Or, can the likes of Jesse Lingard, James Ward-Prowse or even Ollie Watkins shine so much that they can’t be ignored? And what of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tariq Lamptey, Emile Smith Rowe, Curtis Jones and Ben Godfrey?

There are many ifs and buts ahead of the nation’s Middle Eastern venture, but how are the odds looking at this moment in time for England players, aspirants and youngsters alike to make Southgate’s squad (assuming Gareth is still at the helm) for the World Cup in 2022? We are already less than two years away…

Goalkeepers (via Sky Bet)

Jordan Pickford became only the second goalkeeper in European Championship history to keep five clean sheets in one tournament, after Iker Casillas, while he saved two penalties in England’s final shootout with Italy. Will he maintain form over the next year and a half to continue guarding the Three Lions net? Or will the likes of Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, or Arsenal’s new man Aaron Ramsdale come to the goalkeeping fore?


This will very much be a stick of twist scenario for the England manager. Stay true to the ‘old guard’ in Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier that delivered so much in 2018 and 2021, or shuffle the pack and usher in a new era of emerging right-backs, with clamour for Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Aaron Wan Bissaka and even the convalescing Tariq Lamptey to be given a chance. At centre-back, Ben White is now a £50m player and he could yet emerge as a leading Premier League defender in the next 15 months, while Joe Gomez will be eyeing up a comeback from injury. Fikayo Tomori also continues to boss Serie A with Milan, recently completing a permanent switch from Chelsea, and Omar Richards (at 16/1) has also ventured overseas. He is now a Bayern Munich player.


  • Declan Rice 1/20
  • Mason Mount 1/20
  • Phil Foden 1/20
  • Bukayo Saka 1/10
  • Jude Bellingham 1/10
  • Kalvin Phillips 1/8
  • Jack Grealish 1/6
  • Jordan Henderson 1/3
  • James Ward-Prowse 1/1
  • Jesse Lingard 9/4
  • Harvey Elliott 5/2
  • Dele Alli 3/1
  • Emile Smith-Rowe 3/1
  • James Maddison 7/2
  • Harvey Barnes 7/2
  • Eberechi Eze 5/1
  • Joe Willock 5/1
  • Jack Harrison 6/1
  • Conor Gallagher 6/1
  • Dwight McNeil 6/1
  • Ross Barkley 8/1
  • Oliver Skipp 8/1
  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek 9/1
  • Harry Winks 10/1
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 12/1
  • Noni Madueke 16/1
  • Curtis Jones 16/1
  • Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall 16/1
  • Tom Davies 20/1
  • Faustino Anjorin 20/1
  • James Garner 20/1
  • Michael Olise 20/1
  • Angel Gomes 33/1
  • Carney Chukwuemeka 33/1

James Maddison will surely be the player eyeing up the next 15 months as his opportunity to accelerate his reputation and give the England manager no option but to include him, having been snubbed for Euro 2020. Jesse Lingard was also unfortunate to miss out on a spot after his redeeming stint at West Ham in the second half of last season, and despite uncertainties over his future, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said last month that the 28-year-old is very much part of his “plans” for 2021/22, so he will be relishing the chance to nudge his way to the front of the Old Trafford pecking order (and possibly England as a result). The forthcoming season could yet be a breakthrough one for the likes of Emile Smith-Rowe, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in the picture at Anfield after another protracted spell on the sidelines.


  • Raheem Sterling 1/20
  • Harry Kane 1/16
  • Marcus Rashford 1/12
  • Jadon Sancho 1/10
  • Mason Greenwood 1/2
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin 10/11
  • Ollie Watkins 7/4
  • Patrick Bamford 4/1
  • Tammy Abraham 4/1
  • Callum Hudson-Odi 5/1
  • Danny Ings 5/1
  • Ivan Toney 6/1
  • Adeloma Lookman 7/1
  • Jarrod Bowen 7/1
  • Callum Wilson 8/1
  • Michail Antonio 12/1
  • Eddie Nketiah 22/1
  • Jamie Vardy 25/1
  • Dane Scarlett 33/1
  • Liam Delap 33/1

Mason Greenwood’s injury meant he missed out on the chance to represent his nation this summer, but at just 19 there is plenty of room for growth and future appearances on the international stage, a frightening prospect for rival managers. Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odi fell down the pecking order at Chelsea last term, but at just 23 and 20 respectively, they can yet rediscover form and elevate themselves to elite status once again, and the former has since joined Roma. Then you have the wildcards. If Championship goal fiend Ivan Toney can translate his form to the Premier League with Brentford in 2021/22 then he could have a chance, while the likes of Danny Ings, Ollie Watkins and Patrick Bamford will be aiming to impress once again, asking questions of Southgate.


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