How good were England at the 2018 World Cup?


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With the international break upon us The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell thought it would be the ideal time to travel back to summer 2018, to the hazy days of waistcoats and wasted pints, as Gareth Southgate's England came within twenty minutes of a World Cup final. We all remember the penalty shoot-out and the Trippier free-kick, but were England actually any good in that tournament?

Cox and Worville have looked at the footage and the data to determine whether Southgate's Three Lions were worthy semi-finalists.

We look at the supposed lucky draw, the reliance on set pieces and penalties, plus pick out some highlights featuring the likes of Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard that you've probably forgotten about by now.

There's also a look ahead to the forthcoming set of international fixtures and the Euros that loom in the summer - what is Southgate's best XI? Are we going to end up with a very similar team to 2018? Do the likes of Ollie Watkins or even Patrick Bamford have any hope of making the squad in the summer? And what's going on with Trent Alexander-Arnold?

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