The 2018 World Cup is being dubbed the “The Underdogs World Cup”, following an exodus of tournament favourites at the hands of the unlikely.

With Argentina and Spain eliminated, none of the competitions remaining players have ever participated in a final – in some respects leaving the contest wide open.

It bodes well for England, sent to Russia with reserved expectation by a nation scarred from heartbreak of previous failures.

Suddenly Gareth Southgate’s men find themselves on the favourable side of the draw – avoiding the likes of Brazil and France – and with a conceivable path to the final.

Should The Three Lions see off Columbia, they will face the winners of Sweden v Switzerland and Russian v Croatia in the quarter-finals and semis respectively.

As the major footballing nation in their half of the table, with a squad of EPL superstars who delivered promising group stage performances, England will be expected to see off their opponents en route to the final.

However, it is not a forgone conclusion as this competition has demonstrated time and again, besides, England are yet to win their first knock out match since beating Ecuador in 2006.

Let us also not forget the dismal English record in penalty-shootouts – the worst on the planet – three of three lost in the World Cup alone.

So the English disposition of muted hope is understandable. But hope is the lifeblood of football and it can only be suppressed for so long. The whispers in the streets have begun, “It’s coming home”.

First, there is still the small matter of Columbia to address. Should Radamel Falcao show up with the team that dismantled Poland in the group stage, the English whisper could be silenced.

If on Sunday 15th July 2018, Harry Kane and Co. are found stood side by side at the Luzhniki Stadium, singing “God Save the Queen”, although the nation will be intoxicated with pride, they will certainly be considered the underdog.

The opposite side of the draw holds the frightening proposititons of Belgium who beat England in the group stage, true favourites Brazil and France who are ranked higher or Uruguay who have not put a foot wrong yet.

But this is football and in a final when 22 men take their position on the pitch anything is possible. If this truly is “The Underdogs World Cup” England will fancy their chances and after all, doesn't everyone love an underdog?