By William Hill
Last Updated: 29th June 2018
Maybe it’s premature for fans to be plotting England’s route to the 2018 World cup final based on beating Tunisia and Panama, but this Pep Guardiola World Cup trend says the Three Lions are going to win it.
You might think Guardiola and the World Cup don’t have much in common. After all, he certainly didn’t make much impact as a player, appearing twice for Spain in 1994 and scoring a penalty in a group win over Bolivia.
However, the two tournaments since his coaching career got underway in 2007 were both won by the country he was managing in with the squad featuring the most players from his club.
In 2010, he was managing Barcelona and seven of Spain’s victorious 23 were under his spell at Camp Nou: Victor Valdes, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez. Six started the final and Iniesta got the winner.
Bayern Munich benefitted from his brilliance in 2014, as did Germany with seven inclusions: Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller. Six started the final. The other, Gotze, came on to win it.
How England can win the 2018 World Cup thanks to Pep Guardiola
There are 16 members of Guardiola’s Premier League-winning Manchester City squad at this World Cup – the most of any team. England and Brazil have the most with four players each.
Brazil haven’t studied the history books though so aren’t maximising their gift. Instead, Ederson and Fernandinho warm the bench, where they’re joined by the injured Danilo.
There’s even talk that their only Guardiola-nurtured starter Gabriel Jesus will be banished alongside them in favour of Roberto Firmino following a goalless group stage.
England on the other hand have made three of their four Pep pets an integral part of their system. John Stones is the defensive figurehead, Kyle Walker is alongside him and Raheem Sterling is the link between the midfield and Harry Kane.
Gareth Southgate even had the wisdom to surprisingly pick Fabian Delph ahead of Jack Wilshere. The midfielder-come-left-back featured for almost half an hour against Panama.
The odds on England winning the 2018 World Cup, making this the third straight World Cup where the trophy has followed Guardiola wherever he has gone, are now 15/2.