How England became second favourites to win the World Cup
From the ignominy of Iceland to being just two matches from glory – these are the moments that got people believing it just might be coming home.
How did this happen?
From rank outsiders, England are now second favourites in the latest football betting to win the World Cup.
Here, we document the key moments over the last four years that have got the nation believing that it really might be coming home.
THE GHASTLY YEARS
13 July 2014
Germany win the World Cup in Brazil after England go out in the group stage. Prices for the 2018 tournament are released, with the Three Lions eighth favourites at 18/1.
12 October 2015
Having won all 10 of their Euro 2016 qualifying matches under Roy Hodgson, England are cut to 16/1 to triumph in Russia.
28 June 2016
England crash out to Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016 and drift to 18/1 for the World Cup.
22 July 2016
After Sam Allardyce is appointed manager, a small vote of confidence sees England cut to 16/1. That price stays the same after they beat Slovakia 1-0 in what turns out to be his only game in charge.
ALONG COMES GARETH
30 November 2016
Caretaker manager Gareth Southgate is handed a four-year deal to become permanent boss, but a lukewarm response means their price doesn’t budge from 16/1.
8 October 2017
England top their World Cup qualifying group with eight wins and two draws, but their price remains 16/1.
1 December 2017
The World Cup draw takes place in Moscow. England are cut to 14/1 after being drawn alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in Group G.
16 May 2018
Southgate announces his 23-man squad for the tournament, but punters’ negative reaction sees them slide back out to 16/1.
THE WORLD CUP BEGINS
18 June 2018
England beat Tunisia 2-1 in their first group game thanks to a last-minute Harry Kane goal. Their price is lowered to 14/1.
24 June 2018
England thrash Panama 6-1 to guarantee their place in the knockout stages. Their price to lift the trophy comes in to 11/1.
28 June 2018
Southgate makes eight changes as England are beaten 1-0 by Belgium in their final group game. However, bookies agree with his decision to sacrifice top spot in order to secure an easier path through the knock-outs as they are cut to 8/1.
1 July 2018
Spain, the highest-ranked team in England’s side of the draw, are knocked out on penalties by hosts Russia. England come in once more to 6/1.
MAYHEM IN MOSCOW
20:13, 3 July 2018
Harry Kane puts England 1-0 up 12 minutes into the second half of their last-16 game against Colombia. They’re now 9/2.
20:49, 3 July 2018
Yerry Mina scores a stoppage-time equaliser to force extra time. England are back out to 6/1.
21:49, 3 July 2018
Jordan Henderson misses his penalty to put Colombia ahead in the shoot-out. Suddenly, England are 20/1.
21:52, 3 July 2018
Eric Dier scores the decisive penalty after Colombia miss their previous two. England qualify for the quarter-finals and are now just 4/1 to win the tournament.
7 July 2018
England beat Sweden to set up a first World Cup semi-final since 1990, against Croatia.
At just 5/2, they are now second favourites behind France to lift the trophy for the first time since 1966.