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England v San Marino: England boss Gareth Southgate says Three Lions will not take opponents lightly

Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring for England against San Marino
Raheem Sterling scored in a 5-0 win over San Marino at Wembley in March but will not feature in Monday’s qualifier
Date: 15 November Kick-off: 19:45 GMT Venue: Stadio Olimpico di Serravalle
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website. Text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

England will take San Marino, the world’s worst national team in Fifa’s rankings, “very seriously” as the Three Lions have yet to qualify for the World Cup, says boss Gareth Southgate.

England need one point from their final group game to ensure qualification.

San Marino are 210th – bottom – in the world rankings and have lost all nine group games in qualifying, conceding 36 times and scoring just once.

“We want a strong performance,” said Southgate on Sunday.

The England manager added: “We want to make sure the team we start with tomorrow is a statement that we are here to do business.

“We have not qualified yet.

“We have got thousands of England fans travelling and we must put on a performance that underlines those facts. We’re taking this very seriously.”

England are currently top of their group with 23 points. Poland, in second place with 20 points, will play Hungary on Monday, with Albania and Andorra being the remaining group fixture.

Harry Kane, who scored a hat-trick against Albania on Friday, is level with Jimmy Greaves on 44 England goals and has scored 39 competitive goals for his country, breaking Wayne Rooney’s record of 37.

He needs four goals to draw level with Gary Lineker on 48 England goals.


Southgate will make at least two changes from the side that hammered Albania 5-0 at Wembley on Friday.

Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling both started. Henderson has returned to Liverpool after picking up an injury and Sterling will not feature due to a personal matter.

Jack Grealish, who came on as a substitute against Albania, Mason Mount and Luke Shaw will also not travel.

Wolves defender Conor Coady will make his eighth senior start for the Three Lions.

Crystal Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher, on loan from Chelsea, has been called up for the senior squad for the first time.

Asked about Gallagher’s call-up, Southgate said: “I’ve been very impressed with him. He deserves to be here.”

How bad are San Marino? Match facts

  • England have won their seven matches against San Marino by an aggregate score of 42-1, beating them 5-0 in March at Wembley in the reverse World Cup 2022 qualifier.
  • In San Marino, England have won 14-0 across two visits, winning 8-0 in March 2013 and 6-0 in September 2015. Their other match against the Sammarinese not on English soil was played in Bologna in November 1993, with San Marino taking the lead through Davide Gualtieri after eight seconds before losing 7-1.
  • San Marino have lost 36 of their 37 home World Cup qualifiers, losing the last 35 in a row by an aggregate score of 146-7. They last avoided defeat at home in March 1993 in a 0-0 draw with Turkey.
  • San Marino have lost their last 35 qualifying matches (Euros/World Cup), scoring five goals while conceding 163 themselves. They only had one shot in their 4-0 defeat to Hungary last time out.

Sourced From BBC

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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