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England vs San Marino prediction, preview, team news and more | World Cup 2022 Qualifiers

England are expected to pick up an easy win over San Marino this Thursday
England are expected to pick up an easy win over San Marino this Thursday
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 23 Mar 2021
Preview

Thursday evening sees England begin their World Cup 2022 qualification campaign as they welcome San Marino to Wembley.

England will be overwhelming favorites to beat San Marino in this match and should be looking ahead to a tougher test in the form of Poland next week.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions should impress at Wembley as they take on the minnows whose population amounts to around 34,000 people.


England vs San Marino Head-to-Head

After banking goodwill following promising performances in the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Nations League, England haven’t been quite as impressive recently.

They slumped to disappointing defeats against Belgium and Denmark in last year’s Nations League matches, ending their hopes of a second appearance in the finals.

While the Three Lions are blessed with plenty of attacking talent, Southgate’s reliance on a defensive outlook could be their downfall in future games.

That won’t be the case on Thursday, though. San Marino remain one of international football’s genuine minnows, regularly shipping a disturbing number of goals to bigger sides.

Their last match was a 0-0 draw with fellow minnows Gibraltar, but prior to that they lost 3-0 to Latvia.

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England have faced San Marino on numerous occasions and have never failed to beat them. Most recently, they put a total of 11 goals past them in two qualifiers for Euro 2016.

England form guide: W-L-W-L-W

San Marino form guide: L-L-D-L-D

England vs San Marino Team News

England

England have a number of regular squad members missing for this game due to injury, including Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho and Jordan Henderson. A handful of others have been dropped, including Trent Alexander-Arnold.

In terms of the squad selected, Marcus Rashford is a doubt while Jude Bellingham is unavailable as his club Borussia Dortmund have refused to let him travel to England.

Injured: Jack Grealish, James Maddison, Jadon Sancho, Jordan Henderson, Jordan Pickford

Doubtful: Marcus Rashford

Suspended: None

Unavailable: Jude Bellingham

San Marino

San Marino will be without captain Davide Simoncini for this game, as he was sent off in their 0-0 draw with Gibraltar and is thus suspended.

Injured: None

Doubtful: None

Suspended: Davide Simoncini

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England vs San Marino Predicted XI

England predicted XI (3-4-3): Nick Pope, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Tyrone Mings, Kieran Trippier, Jesse Lingard, Declan Rice, Luke Shaw, Bukayo Saka, Ollie Watkins, Phil Foden

San Marino predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Simone Benedettini, Manuel Battistini, Cristian Brolli, Dante Carlos Rossi, Mirko Palazzi, Enrico Golinucci, Lorenzo Lunadei, Fabio Tomassini, Adolfo Hirsch, Luca Ceccaroli, Nicola Nanni


England vs San Marino Prediction

This game is as close to a guaranteed win as it gets for England. However, fans will be intrigued to see if Southgate unleashes his more attacking players or keeps faith in his defensive mindset.

Even if he does continue with his defensive approach, we can expect plenty of goals for England here. San Marino have never won a competitive game, and that's not likely to change this week.

Prediction: England 7-0 San Marino

Published 23 Mar 2021, 20:34 IST
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