England and Iran will face off each other for the first time as the teams launch their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign in a Group B clash in Qatar today (November 21).
This is the seventh consecutive appearance at the World Cup for England, and overall 16th. For Iran, this is its sixth time to the premier football event and three in a row. Iran has never managed to progress to the second round of the World Cup.
England starts as the favourite to clinch this Group B tie at Khalifa International Stadium.
Ahead of the match, England manager Gareth Southgate said the team wants to give its supporters a “memorable” tournament.
“Our challenge is to give our supporters a tournament that is memorable. Our country is going through a difficult spell, obviously not like a couple of other countries are going through, in the middle of an economic recession and life has been difficult for a lot of people. We want them to have a journey with the team that brings real happiness,” Southgate said on the eve of the match.
On facing an opponent like Iran, he said, “Our team have been pretty creative and successful in breaking those sorts of challenges. We know we must not be frustrated if it takes us time to score, confident with teams playing against Iran, difficult to score goals.”
“This team has been through lots of difficult challenges. You need to respond in the right way and that’s what we’ll aim to do this tournament too,” he added.
Gareth Southgate confirmed in his pre-match press conference earlier that @Madders10 will not be available tomorrow, while the game may have come a little bit too early for @kylewalker2. pic.twitter.com/Dw6rHbU1Ad
— England (@England) November 20, 2022
In the last edition of the World Cup in Russia, Southgate had taken England to the semi-finals, where it lost to Croatia 1-2 after extra time. England later lost the third-place playoff match against Belgium 0-2.
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This time, England, which won the World Cup in 1966, will be hoping to go further from Group B which also includes USA and Wales.
- Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale.
- Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ben White.
- Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice.
- Forwards: Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, James Maddison, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Callum Wilson.
- Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand, Amir Abedzadeh, Seyed Hossein Hosseini, Payam Niazmand.
- Defenders: Ehsan Hajsafi, Morteza Pouraliganji, Ramin Rezaeian, Milad Mohammadi, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Shojae Khalilzadeh, Sadegh Moharrami, Rouzbeh Cheshmi, Majid Hosseini, Abolfazl Jalali.
- Midfielders: Ahmad Noorollahi, Saman Ghoddos, Vahid Amiri, Saeid Ezatolahi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Mehdi Torabi, Ali Gholizadeh, Ali Karimi.
Forwards: Karim Ansarifard, Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi.
The match starts at 6:30 PM IST
Live on Sports18, Live streaming on JioCinema