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It’s theirs if they want it – Eddie Lewis backs England to reach World Cup final

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independent.co.uk

Former USA forward Eddie Lewis believes England can go one step further at Qatar 2022 and reach the World Cup final.Gareth Southgate’s side, who face USA in their second Group B game on Friday, reached the semi-finals at Russia 2018 and lost to Italy on penalties in last summer’s Euro 2020 final.The United States held Wales 1-1 in their opening match on Monday, while England made their best-ever World Cup start by thrashing Iran 6-2 and Lewis said Southgate’s side will be “hard to stop”.The former Preston and Leeds winger told the PA news agency: “I try and say it every time, whether it’s the Euros or the last World Cup, especially more recently because of the talent that’s in the England squad.“It’s theirs if they want it.

There are some amazing teams and a lot that comes into play when you get near the end.“But I don’t think on paper England should be thinking that they’re not in the running for who should be in the final.”Lewis, who spent eight years as a player in England until 2008 and also had spells at Fulham and Derby, won the last of his 82 USA caps in 2006.The 48-year-old is hoping the US can take inspiration from Saudi Arabia and Japan, who sprang major upsets by beating Argentina and Germany, respectively, in their opening group matches.“The US is always going to be optimistic,” he said. “And the reality is, as you’ve seen already in this tournament, sometimes big nations get off to a rocky start.“That certainly wasn’t the case with England.

There’s so much talent in that squad and if they’re firing on all cylinders the US, to a certain extent, is going to have to hold on.“But every game is different.

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