England fans are concerned about the 'ITV curse' ahead of World Cup clash against Senegal
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The day has finally arrived. At the 60,000 capacity Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar on Saturday night, overwhelming favourites England will face Senegal in the World Cup knockout stages.
Gareth Southgate's side are expected to beat Group A runners up Senegal, who picked up two wins from their three group games against Qatar, Ecuador and the Netherlands.
But on the cusp of this evening's game in Al Khor, some fans aren't exactly brimming with excitement. Why, you may ask?
Well, there has been a worrying trend when it comes to England games being broadcast on British television network ITV over the years. Let me explain.
Since the European Championships in 1996, the Three Lions have won 21 of their 31 games shown on the BBC, which is a 68 per cent win rate. ITV, meanwhile, have nine victories from 23 matches, a 39 per cent win rate.
In addition to that pretty grim stat, England have not won any of their last ten World Cup matches in normal time broadcast on ITV, while the nation have won seven of the last ten shown on the BBC.
A coincidence, right? Most likely. But ITV's record in World Cups alone cannot be ignored.
England have won just three times in the past 16 games broadcast on the channel – a 19 per cent win ratio – while the BBC celebrate 71 percent.
The ITV Curse is real.— Andrew Raeburn (@andrew_raeburn) December 4, 2022
England have not won any of their last TEN World Cup matches in normal time broadcast on ITV.
By contrast, they have won seven of the last 10 shown on the BBC.
(Graphic from this: https://t.co/zf0FnKNjfQ) pic.twitter.com/qjMOc8W3jJ
Plenty of fans have taken to social media in recent days to express their concern.
One said: "The ITV curse is going to hit us tonight isn’t it," while another commented: "The ITV Curse is real. England have not won any of their last TEN World Cup matches in normal time broadcast on ITV."
A third wrote: "Those excited about today's #EngvsUSA match, remember it's on ITV and the curse is very real."
Amongst all the uncertainty, Mirror writer Tom Blow decided to be optimistic, saying: "On the ‘ITV Curse’, it’s important to remember England’s last 16 clash against Colombia four years ago was shown on ITV - and that was England’s only penalty shootout win at a World Cup."
The itv curse is going to hit us tonight isn’t it pic.twitter.com/OeGseGjQop— omulo (@odb1912) December 4, 2022
Speaking after England's 3-0 win against Wales on Tuesday, BBC presenter Gary Lineker may have given a nod to the much-talked about ITV curse.
He said: “England finish top and will take on Senegal at 7pm on Sunday. That’s live on, well, ITV. Oh well.”
Do you think Gareth Southgate's side can beat the so-called curse and reach this winter's quarter-finals in Qatar?
Let us know in the comments.