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England V Iran – World Cup Preview Posted On 21 November 2022

England kick off their World Cup at 1pm today

After last night’s opening game, England kick off their World Cup at 1pm today versus Iran. Despite a poor run of form in the build-up to the World Cup, England go into the competition as one of the favourites. However, they will be up against a strong Iranian team coached by Carlos Queiroz, once Alex Ferguson’s Assistant Manager at Manchester United.

Opening games are usually a nervy affair and expect Iran to be tight and aggressive against the Three Lions this afternoon. England defender Kyle Walker has admitted that today’s game is probably one to soon for him, while James Maddison, one of the most in-form players for England, on league form, has missed a few training sessions this week.

Expect Southgate to start Rice and Bellingham in midfield. Kalvin Phillips, who started most of the games in the Euros, hasn’t got the game time Bellingham has this season due to a shoulder injury which has slowed his Man City career, so far. Alongside Bellingham and Rice, expect Bukayo Saka and Mason Mount to start, while upfront, Raheem Sterling will more than likely support Harry Kane.

In defence, despite losing his position at Man Utd, Harry Maguire will likely partner John Stones in the centre back position, with Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier on either side in the full back positions. Jordan Pickford has been in great form for Everton, so will likely keep the No1 shirt in goal.

Under Queiroz, Iran is known to be tight defensively, while unable to score goals at the other end regularly. So, unless Kane, and the other attacking players find form, expect a low scoring game.

Prediction – England 1 – Iran 0

 

Watch live on BBC 1 from 12:00pm with kick-off at 1pm

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