Gareth Southgate’s side head into their opening match in Volgograd on Monday in good form, having gone 10 matches without defeat since a 3-2 friendly loss to France last June.
A relatively low level of expectations among supporters, coupled with a strong sense of unity within the camp, has also helped to create a quiet optimism around an England side who were knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland.
Midfielder Jordan Henderson has previously said they should take inspiration from Leicester, who stunned the football world by winning the top-flight title two years ago.
“We were exactly the same, very close, always wanting to do things together and having a laugh and a joke at training,” he said.
“We are all confident. We have all got that mentality where you just want to win. We want to make sure we are here as winners. We have all won things ourselves at our respective clubs and we want to take that on to the international stage now.
“We have definitely got the momentum going into it. Mood-wise, it feels like the excitement is building. Nobody is keeping themselves to themselves, everybody is doing stuff together. Everybody is having a laugh. It doesn’t matter what we are doing, we are doing it as a group. That is how it should be, to my mind. I think that when you are enjoying it more, you play your best football.”
“We all know we are a 23-man squad and we are all here for a reason,” he added. “The gaffer has picked us because he thinks we are the best the country has got. So, we are all here with the same mentality, all wanting to win, all wanting to play. Unfortunately, you cannot have that all of the time – you can only have 11 players on the pitch.