Former England international Sol Campbell has visited Volgograd and its main venue ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, online sportsbook news report.
The city and country are ready to host the tournament according to his assessment, as thousands of England supporters gear up to visit Volgograd on June 18 to back England against Tunisia in their first game.
Campbell assures fans they’ll feel welcome in Russia during the World Cup
The Three Lions will begin their 2018 World Cup adventure at the Volgograd Arena, which is situated in the Football Park that was ceremoniously opened by Campbell himself. The 43-year-old former defender explored the city and got a real feel from the locals, after chatting with them around the Football Park. His insights about the atmosphere are electric, as Campbell highlights the fans he met are anxious for the World Cup to start as soon as possible.
“It was great to see so many open people who cannot wait for this huge celebration and passionately love football,” Campbell commented. “I think Russia is ready to welcome the whole world. This is a beautiful country, where people work hard and value their history. Volgograd is a fascinating historical place, where many people gave their lives during the Second World War. People should remember this and appreciate it.”
The man that played for Tottenham for nearly a decade before switching to heated North London rivals Arsenal in controversial transfer in 2001 also added that any team in the world could play at the Volgograd Arena, while England themselves will be ready for the tournament and hopes they won’t disappoint the thousands of travelling fans.
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Germany, who are defending champions having won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil four years ago, are one of the main favourites 9/2 (5.50) to lift the trophy yet again in Russia, only behind Brazil 4/1 (5.00) , per online sportsbooks in Russia. But Campbell, who has made 73 caps for the Three Lions during his playing career, thinks Joachim Low’s men won’t repeat the success they had in South America four years ago, believing that some players of the German squad have limited experience on the international stage, especially in big tournaments.
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“Everyone is picking Germany, but I don’t think they’re going to win it for a second time in a row. They’re got players in their team at the moment who don’t have that much experience at international level.”
Campbell opened Volgograd’s Football Park, where England will take on Tunisia (Photo: Mirror)
In terms of England’s chances at the 2018 World Cup, Campbell is adamant the Three Lions will reach far in the tournament, even the final itself. “My heart says that England can reach the Final, but my head says differently,” said the former England international that played in three World Cups (1998 France, 2002 South Korea – Japan and 2006 Germany) “Our attack is fine, and I hope Harry Kane is in good form, but things in defence could be better. England need some luck.”
Looking at Bet365 Sportsbook odds for the 2018 World Cup, England’s chances of actually winning the tournament are rather slim, with their odds being 18/1 (19.00). The likes of Spain 6/1 (7.00), France 13/2 (7.50), Argentina 10/1 (11.00) and Belgium 11/1 (12.00) are all above the Three Lions on the outright odds chart.