England will do well to reach the last eight of Russia 2018 says former defender Terry Butcher.
“We aren’t going to win it, but if we get out of the group we should have a relatively comfortable last-16 tie, although we said that against Iceland in 2016,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.
England last reached the last eight of a World Cup in 2006 where they beaten by Portugal.
They lost 2-1 to Iceland in the last 16 of the European Championships in 2016.
If England progress from their group they will face one of Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan in the first knockout round this summer. Germany and Brazil are among their possible last-eight opponents.
Butcher was part of England’s 1990 World Cup squad that came within a penalty shoot-out defeat by West Germany of a first final appearance since 1966.
Manager Gareth Southgate named his 23-man squad earlier on Wednesday, with uncapped teenage defender Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool included.
Chelsea playmaker Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has impressed on loan at Crystal Palace this season, is in with Burnley’s Nick Pope preferred to Joe Hart, winner of 75 caps, as the third-choice goalkeeper.
What do you make of the squad?
Alan Shearer: “The squad has got energy and youth. There seems a genuine excitement and happiness to be involved in the squad. They are looking forward to it, which is great.
“I don’t think there are huge expectations from the English public. People know where we are and that we have a better chance of being more successful in four years’ time than on this occasion.
“If our team can show some improvement from two years ago and the players have given everything, I think the public will be happy with that.”
Chris Waddle: “For me it is lacking in creativity and imagination.
“Raheem Sterling is going to be the one to run with the ball, Marcus Rashford will if he gets a game, but apart from that it is physical, strong, tall, grafting side that can pass the ball quite well.
“But every team needs a point of difference but there are so many similarly defensive-minded players.”
Terry Butcher: “Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard are players that can shoot, score, and assist.
“I like us going forward as a package and we have got plenty of zip and energy.
“It’s the other way, defensively, and with the goalkeepers’ lack of international caps you think the best form of defence is attack.”
Who should have gone?
Terry Butcher: “I would have looked at Fulham wing-back Ryan Sessegnon. He has had a fantastic season, albeit at a lower division.
“He is a player that excites you and he is in the Championship play-offs with the possibility of playing in the Premier League next year.
“I think he is one for the future. I would have put him in but Gareth Southgate is England manager and I’m not.”
Alan Shearer: “The only one I would have included myself is Jonjo Shelvey just to add something a bit different.
“He would bring a calmness on the ball and he is someone who’s first thought is a forward pass.
“He can keep hold of the ball if we need it, or pick his head up and play a long pass that we have seen him do over the last four or five months.”
Chris Waddle: “If this is a young squad aimed at getting experience then what about Jadon Sancho at Dortmund?
“He has the ability to run at players and beat a man and can lighten the load on Raheem Sterling. I would have taken him and Sessegnon.”
Who would be in your team to face Tunisia?
Terry Butcher’s XI
Chris Waddle’s XI