Comparing England's Starting XIs From the Qualification Stage to the Major Tournament

It's that time again! England have qualified for yet another major tournament after securing their place in the 2018 World Cup after a narrow 1-0 win over Slovenia. Many are arguing that this England side isn't strong enough to win a World Cup, but is this the side that will start for England in their first World Cup game? Here, we will be looking at those who rounded up England's qualification campaigns and those who started in their first game of that tournament from England's last six major...

2016 European Championships

England qualified for Euro 2016 by winning all of their 10 qualifying games. They secured their 100% qualifying record by defeating Lithuania 3-0, and fielded this starting 11: 

Jack Butland, Kyle Walker, Kieran Gibbs, Jonjo Shelvey, Phil Jones, Phil Jagielka, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley, Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane and Adam Lallana.

Hodgson's side conceded a stoppage time equaliser against Russia in their opening game after eight changes were made from qualification. 

Out went: Butland, Gibbs, Shelvey, Jones, Jagielka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Barkley and Vardy, and in came Joe Hart, Danny Rose, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Raheem Sterling, Wayne Rooney, Eric Dier and Dele Alli.

Yet again England failed to meet pre-tournament expectations. After scraping through their group by winning just one of the three games, England were on the receiving end of one of the biggest upsets of Euro 2016 after they were beaten 2-1 by Iceland

2014 World Cup

Another unbeaten qualifying campaign ensured England's passage to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They beat Poland 2-0 in their final qualifying game with this starting lineup: 

Joe Hart, Chris Smalling, Leighton Baines, Steven Gerrard, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Andros Townsend, Michael Carrick, Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck.

Despite an encouraging performance, England lost 2-1 to Italy in their opening game. Roy Hodgson made three changes to the side which finished qualification, with Smalling, Townsend and Carrick losing their places and Glen Johnson, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling taking their places.

Once again it was another disappointing major tournament for England, however this time England finished bottom of their group and didn't manage to win any of their three group games.

2012 European Championships

The Three Lions secured their qualification for Euro 2012, finishing top of their group after an unbeaten campaign. They drew 2-2 with Montenegro in their final game with this starting 11:

Joe Hart, Phil Jones, Ashley Cole, Scott Parker, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Theo Walcott, Gareth Barry, Darren Bent, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young.

They began the tournament with a narrow 1-1 draw with France and made six changes to the side which ended their qualification campaign. Out went Jones, Cahill, Walcott, Barry, Bent and Rooney, and in came Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard, Joleon Lescott, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck.

It proved to be yet another disappointing tournament for England after they were dumped out on penalties by eventual finalists Italy at the quarter-final stage.

2010 World Cup

England finished top of their 2010 World Cup qualifying group after failing to qualify for Euro 2008. They beat Belarus 3-0 in their final game with a starting 11 consisting of: 

Ben Foster, Glen Johnson, Wayne Bridge, Gareth Barry, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Aaron Lennon, Frank Lampard, Peter Crouch, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

England began their World Cup campaign with a poor 1-1 draw with USA. England made a whopping seven changes to the side that finished their qualifying campaign. Out went Foster, Ferdinand, Bridge, Barry, Wright-Phillips, Crouch and Agbonlahor and in came Rob Green, Ledley King, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, James Milner, Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey.

After scraping their way out of the group stage, England fell at the first hurdle of the knockout stages after falling 4-1 to fierce rivals Germany. It was a game full of controversy, especially when Frank Lampard's goal was wrongfully ruled out and instead the sides went into halftime tied at 1-1.

2006 World Cup

England headed into the 2006 World Cup full of confidence after finishing top of their qualification group. They secured qualification after a 2-1 win over Poland with this team: 

Paul Robinson, Luke Young, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Jamie Carragher, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Ledley King, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen.

England kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Paraguay, and made five changes to the side who ended their qualification campaign. 

Out came Young, Carragher, Wright-Phillips, King and Rooney, and in came Gary Neville, Ashley Cole, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch.

It would become a repeat of Euro 2004 for England, as they were against beaten on penalties in the quarter-finals by Portugal. 

2004 European Championships

England finished top of Group 7 when qualifying for Euro 2004, and secured their qualification with a 0-0 draw over Turkey in their final game. England's starting 11 that day read: 

David James, Gary Neville, Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell, John Terry, Nicky Butt, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey.

Fast forward eight months to the major tournament and England kicked-off their campaign with a 2-1 defeat to France. There were three changes made from the side England qualified with. 

Terry, Butt and Heskey all lost their places, and in came Ledley King, Frank Lampard and Michael Owen.

England went on to reach the quarter-final stage, where they were beaten by eventual finalists Portugal in what was a disappointing end to what looked to be a promising tournament for England.

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