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England vs San Marino: World Cup qualifier – LIVE!

England set out on the road to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as they begin their qualification campaign against San Marino at Wembley tonight.

Gareth Southgate’s side are firm favourites to qualify from Group I and could hardly have wished for a kinder start as they host the minnows, who have never won a competitive match.

However, the current international break doubles as the last chance for Southgate to work with his players before he has to name his squad for this summer’s delayed European Championships.

The likes of John Stones, Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw are back in the fold after significant spells in the wilderness and will be keen to impress, while Ollie Watkins and Sam Johnstone were both called up for the first time and are hoping to make their debuts.

With tougher fixtures to come, against Albania and Poland, Southgate may use tonight’s game to give opportunities to those most desperate to impress.

You can follow all the action LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below…

Live updates

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Lingard set to start

Jesse Lingard is in line for his first England appearance since the 2019 Nations League finals, after a resurgence in his form since joining West Ham on loan in January.

Lingard was a key part of the 2018 World Cup side and has been terrific for the Hammers, though Southgate did suggest he was fortunate to be recalled so quickly, with the likes of Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Jadon Sancho out injured.

Nonetheless, it sounds as if the midfielder will come straight back into the starting lineup this evening, looking to carry on his recent goalscoring run.

The FA via Getty Images
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Saka, Rashford out

We’ll come on to who looks likely to play tonight in a moment, but of that squad Gareth Southgate is without a couple of attacking options.

Marcus Rashford has joined up with the squad but is not fit to feature tonight, while Bukayo Saka is still being assesed by club side Arsenal after suffering a hamstring injury. There is still hope that the 19-year-old might feature later in the fortnight.

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Here’s a reminder of the squad Gareth Southgate has picked for this international break…

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, loan from Manchester United), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham United), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton),  Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)

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Standard Sport prediction

It’s easy to forget that prior to the disappointing Nations League campaign, England had looked a free-flowing, goalscoring machine during Euro2020 qualification.

Gareth Southgate seems likely to throw the shackles off here and with a wealth of attacking talent fighting for summer places, there should be no letting up.

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How to watch

TV channel: The game will be broadcast live on ITV1. 

Live stream: TV licence payers can stream the match live via the ITVHub website or app. 

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The road to Qatar starts here…

It may seem a little strange, given there is a European Championships now looming on the horizon, but the World Cup is next year – yes, next year!

Fine, it’s not until the winter, but England’s quest to go even better than their magnificent run to the semi-finals in Russia in 2018 begins at Wembley tonight, with minnows San Marino in town.

Getty Images
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Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of England vs San Marino from Wembley Stadium.

We’ll have all the team news and build-up ahead of a 7:30pm kick-off…


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