England will kick off their 2022 World Cup qualification on Thursday evening with a home game against San Marino.
Gareth Southgate’s squad has been included in the favorable Group I and will have further games against Albania and Poland in the coming week.
England will see their game against San Marino as the perfect opportunity to get off to a good start, beating them 5-0 and 6-0 when they last played in Euro 2016 qualifying.
England’s last game came in a 4-0 win over Iceland in their Nations League encounter
When is England vs San Marino?
England will start their qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup against San Marino on Thursday, March 25, kicking off at 7:45 PM.
They will enjoy a home advantage for their first qualifying match, which takes place at Wembley Stadium.
Due to the current limitations of the corona virus, the match will of course be played behind closed doors.
England will then have a trip to Albania on Sunday, before wrapping up this period of matches with a home game against Poland on Wednesday, March 31.
How to watch England vs San Marino
England’s match against San Marino will be broadcast live on ITV1, with TV license payers able to stream the match through the ITVHub website or app.
It will also be ITV broadcasting England’s upcoming matches against Albania and Poland.
Which group is England in?
England are included in Group I for their qualifiers, which is no doubt a favorable one.
Poland and Hungary are the biggest threat to Gareth Southgate’s part, although in reality it should be little more than a formality for England.
The Southgate side have never lost or even drawn against Albania, Andorra or San Marino, with a record of 14-0 against the three combined.
Their matches against Hungary were slightly more competitive, with 15 wins, five losses and two draws.
England also did well against Poland historically, losing only once in 19 games, but also winning seven, while winning 11.
Full group: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino
England team news
Jesse Lingard (left) and teammate Declan Rice (center) both got senior call-ups
Ollie Watkins (center) has also received his first-ever senior call-up for the England squad
Gareth Southgate made some interesting changes for his side to face San Marino, Albania and Poland.
First of all, Ollie Watkins, who starred for Aston Villa in his Premier League debut, has been rewarded for his contributions with a first-ever call-up.
West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is another to receive his first call-up to the senior team, with regular No.1 Jordan Pickford injured and unavailable.
There were fears that the prevailing coronavirus restrictions would keep Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham away from the squad, but the 17-year-old is very available.
However, his teammate Jadon Sancho is injured and unavailable, alongside Jack Grealish and possibly Marcus Rashford, who is questionable.
Neither Patrick Bamford nor Trent Alexander-Arnold are part of the roster, which is detailed below.
English team completely
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), Nick Pope (Burnley)
Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones ( Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jesse Lingard (West Ham United, Manchester United loan), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham United), James Ward -Prowse (Southampton)
Forward: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
England vs San Marino: Opportunities
Gareth Southgate has assured that Harry Kane will not dictate how many minutes he plays
Mason Mount (left) and Phil Foden (right) are both trying to start against San Marino
As expected, it is England that are the overwhelming favorites to triumph against San Marino, which they have already defeated six times.
They last met in qualifying for the 2016 European Championship, where England had two convincing winners, 5-0 at home and 6-0 away.
And the odds certainly mirror those results, with England being 1/200 favorites.
San Marino are the main underdogs with 250/1 to claim a win, while a draw is 60/1.
Perhaps it is remarkable that a 6-0 win for England is only 5/1.
* Odds according to Betfair and correct at time of publication
What about Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?
Wales was beaten by Belgium 3-1 in their opening match of the 2020 World Cup qualifier
It is not just England that is in the World Cup qualifying action on Thursday, with Northern Ireland traveling to Italy in a difficult opening game.
Scotland is also starting their qualification, with perhaps a more even match against Austria.
Wales were the first British side to kick-start their qualification, although they fell short in a 3-1 defeat to Belgium – despite taking the lead after just 11 minutes.
Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan
Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo
Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania
Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan
Group E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia
Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Group G: Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar
Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta
Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino
Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein