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Sinking like a stone

I have seen this idiom for the first time today. thefreedictionary says it means "To fail completely"; is it common to use it in daily conversation and why in the example below it is written, "England sink.." and not "England sinks..". Can we use both forms in such structure?

I MAY be going against the grain of public opinion, but I sincerely hope England sink like a stone at the European Championships.

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Yes, it is fairly common. It's hope England sink because in British English the names of sports teams can be treated as plurals.

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