England and the World Cup hasn’t always been the easiest mix of teams and tournaments. The Three Lions have only won the competition once and often fail to deliver on the big stage, but hopes are high for 2022.
Gareth Southgate has a number of exciting attacking talents to call upon in Qatar and, despite some tricky recent results, there is expectation from the English public of a good performance after reaching the final four in Russia and coming second to Italy at Euro 2020.
They haven’t always enjoyed goal-fests at the World Cup, but here are there biggest wins in FIFA’s flagship event.
England managed their first ever wins with three-goal margins at World Cups in 1986, when they dispatched both Poland and Paraguay.
In the Poland clash, Gary Lineker was in inspired form as the Three Lions secured the vital victory they needed to progress after disappointing results against Morocco and Portugal.
That victory over Poland was pivotal in securing England a spot in the last 16 of the 1986 World Cup. It was at that stage where they repeated the 3-0 trick against Paraguay, with Lineker again on the scoresheet.
The former Barcelona and Tottenham striker scored either side of a Peter Beardsley strike on his way to the Golden Boot before the Three Lions were seen off by Argentina in the quarter finals courtesy of two goals of differing validity from Diego Maradona.
It would be another 16 years before England thrashed another team at a World Cup, with Denmark being that unlucky foe in 2002.
The round of 16 fixture was one-sided from kick off as Rio Ferdinand opened the scoring in the fifth minute. Michael Owen made it 2-0 surely after before Emile Heskey rounded off the scoring shortly before half time.
England had a strong squad in 2002 but got knocked out when Ronaldinho looped one over David Seaman before getting sent off in a 2-1 Brazil victory.
Why, hello there, 2022! Nice of you to show up here!
Form was hardly England’s friend leading up to the 2022 World Cup after poor displays against the likes of Hungary and Italy, but they turned it on on their first group game against Iran.
A injury to goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand stalled the game before the likes of Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish got on the scoresheet.
Bukayo Saka was the main star, scoring twice to continue his recent sparkling form.
Sitting pretty at the top is England’s 6-1 thrashing of Panama back in 2018.
Gareth Southgate’s side had already beaten Tunisia in a dramatic opener and further established the feel-good factor as John Stones converted from a set piece before Harry Kane rattled home a penalty.
Jesse Lingard curled home gloriously for the third and Stones followed in on the rebound for his second. Another Kane penalty made it five before he completed his hat trick as the ball deflected off his heel from Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s shot and looped in.
Felipe Baloy did earn Panama a historic first ever World Cup goal as the scoring closed out at 6-1.