Sam Allardyce believes England have been presented with their best opportunity to savour World Cup glory since lifting the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966.
The Three Lions are currently in Russia trying to take the final steps down a path Allardyce started them out on in 2016.
He was to spend just one game at the helm before being relieved of his duties – a 1-0 qualification victory over Slovakia – but opened a campaign which now has England daring to dream of global glory.
Gareth Southgate’s side have only made it as far as the last 16 as yet, with Colombia next on the agenda, but the draw has opened up for them and Allardyce feels belief and expectation is to be encouraged.
He told talkSPORT of a nation starved of international success for over 50 years: “What a chance we’ve got.
“Everybody says it’s one game at a time, and it is, but you can’t help looking a little bit forward.
“This could be one of the best chances we’ve had to go further than we have done since 1966 – and that could be another motivation to the team.
“I think that you’ve got to look at it that way.
“But certainly the focus for Gareth and his boys tonight has to only be on Colombia and finishing the good work they’ve done.”
England’s recent record at major finals suggests that the nerves of supporters will be shredded by the time Southgate’s side take to the field at the Spartak Stadium, but Allardyce believes a convincing win is on the cards.
He added: “I’m going 2-0 to England.
“If we score the first goal I can’t see us being beaten, I think it would give the team the confidence to go on from there.
“Tonight’s all about England playing to their best, holding their nerve and giving their best performance.
“And then, when the chances arrive, making sure they take them.”