The notion that God is an Englishman first came into the popular psyche in the Elizabethan era, when the favour of a Protestant deity was thought to have played its part in the defeat of the Catholic Spanish Armada.
Nigh on five centuries later, we live in more pluralistic times, where only the vaguest spiritualism is fit to unite a society tolerant of broad and diverse range of beliefs.
As such we call upon the mysterious and multicultural forces of fate to give us a sign that England can land odds of 19/10 in beating Italy in Group D.
Serendipitously it seems it’s on our side…
The pitch in Manaus is in horrendous shape.
‘Frankly, Manaus is in bad shape’ says head groundsman Carlos Botella.
Brilliant news for a Three Lions side with generations of hoof and hope in their DNA, with the reportedly uneven surface sure to scotch sneaky Italian attempts to pass it along the deck.
England are on a one-match winning streak against the Azzurri.
Further irrefutable evidence of the fact that the Three Lions was on offer in the completely comparable 2012 friendly victory over Cesare Prandelli’s side in the Wankdorf Stadium.
Phil Jagielka has sworn off in-game tweeting during the tournament.
The selfie ‘Jagz’ tweeted while taking in England v Ecuador from the bench was dubbed ‘the tweet of death’ by his waggish colleagues after it was followed, almost immediately by Enner Valenica’s goal.
It’s reportedly been enough to put him any more mid-game social networking, which is just as well given he’ll be starting along Gary Cahill versus the Italians.
The gods of poor Brazilian hotel food hygiene have smiled on England and smote Italy.
Both sides World Cup residences have fallen foul of the host nation’s food safety czars in the build up to the tournament.
However, just 2.6kg of moody tucker was unearthed at the Hotel Royal Tulip, which puts up Roy Hodgson’s men, whereas a whopping 50kg of potentially gut-busting grub was removed from Italy’s Portobello Hotel.
Austria won this year’s Eurovision song contest.
When savouring his first victory of tournament Hodgson should spare a word of thanks for Conchita Wurst.
The last time the ‘Rise like a Phoenix’ chanteuse’s compatriots landed the prize was 1966, and we all know what happened then.