Dele Alli says England will head to Russia in the belief they can win the World Cup, claiming second place will not be good enough (England 16/1 World Cup 2018 Outright).
The Three Lions crashed out of the last World Cup in the group stage while they have not been beyond the quarter-finals since 1990.
England’s poor recent record in the tournament, coupled with their shock last-16 exit to Iceland at Euro 2016, means expectations among supporters are low.
However, Tottenham ace Alli insists it is a very different story within the camp having romped through qualification, winning eight out of 10 matches.
Battling draws against joint 9/2 favourites Germany and Brazil in recent friendlies have also boosted the belief among the players that they can hold their own when they come up against the best the world has to offer.
“We’re going there to win it. We don’t expect anything less and we’ll be disappointed if we finish second,” he said.
“I feel like we have to have that mentality. We don’t want to go there and just be a part of it. We know how good we are as a squad, we know the talent.”
Alli has also warned opponents to expect England to come at them in Russia, with coach Gareth Southgate having fielded an attacking line-up in Saturday’s friendly win over Nigeria.
“I think Gareth has done a great job in selecting players that want to play the same way. He has really drilled into the philosophy and the way he wants us to play,” he added.
“That’s exciting football and we all want to play that way anyway.”
England have one final warm-up game before they fly out, with quarter-finalists from 2014 Costa Rica providing the opposition for Thursday’s clash at Elland Road (England 4/11, Costa Rica 17/2, draw 19/5 – Match Betting).
Odds subject to change