World Cup Qualifying Group I odds: England have eyes on summit
World Cup Qualifying Group I odds and preview
England are the overwhelming 1/20 favourites in the World Cup Qualifying Group I odds to top the group and secure a spot in Qatar in the winter of 2022, but Hungary may not let them have it all their own way.
Gareth Southgate’s men are 7/1 to win the tournament after finishing runners-up at Euro 2020 and fourth at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Three Lions have made a fantastic start to qualifying, sitting pretty at the top of the group with three consecutive wins.
Euro finalists on pole
England have not failed to qualify for a major tournament since Euro 2008 and are two points clear of Hungary after sweeping aside San Marino, Albania and Poland.
Southgate said: “I want to take the team to Qatar. I feel we have made progress over the four years, we have had a fourth, a third and a second-placed finish and that is as good as anyone.”
When the draw was made many thought Poland would be England’s biggest challengers, but Hungary have caught the eye under Marco Rossi over the last year, losing just two of 16 matches since September 2020 and performing well at the European Championship.
Drawn in the ‘group of death’, Hungary lost late on to Portugal before holding world champions France and Germany to entertaining draws.
Their World Cup qualifying form gave them confidence heading into that tournament after drawing with Poland and beating San Marino and Andorra.
They are the top scorers in the group with 10, one more than England, and are 16/1 in the World Cup Qualifying Group I odds to progress as group winners.
Hungary may have to settle for advancing to the next stage of qualification, leaving Poland worried after a run of one win in 10 matches.
They were beaten by Italy and Holland in the Nations League and, after drawing with Hungary, beating Andorra and losing to England in World Cup qualifying, were held by Russia and Iceland in warm-up matches to arrive at the Euros low on confidence.
And things did not get any better at the European Championship where, despite striker Robert Lewandowski’s three goals, they were defeated by Slovakia and Sweden following a draw with Spain, meaning they failed to qualify as a best third-placed side.
Poland have a mountain to climb to make up five points on leaders England and are 12/1 in the World Cup Qualifying Group I odds.
Albania are third in the group after away wins over whipping boys Andorra and San Marino either side of losing 2-0 at home to England and they are available at 150/1 to be group winners.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication