FIFA World Cup: England aiming to start on a high against tricky Iran side
Gareth Southgate’s England will surely have their job cut out on Monday when they take on a tricky Iran side who will be looking to spread some joy back home. The Three Lions will be aiming for a fast start against Iran in their opening match.
There is pressure mounting on Southgate (Courtesy: Reuters)
By India Today Web Desk: England has been considered by many football fans and pundits to be one of the favourites to win the FIFA World Cup this year in Qatar.
The talent at the disposal of manager Gareth Southgate is tremendous and on paper, they look like a team who could bring the gold back home. However, their recent results paint a different picture for the Three Lions.
Pressure mounting on Southgate
England is winless in their last six competitive games and the pressure is surely mounting on the manager. Under Southgate, the Three Lions have come close to winning silverware as they reached the finals of Euro 2020 and were eliminated in the semi-final stages of the last World Cup.
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However, during their thrilling 3-3 draw against Germany in the Nations League, the fans voiced their displeasure and Southgate will know his job would be on the line if England fail to produce a big performance in the tournament.
The manager was in good spirits before the match and said, as quoted by the Guardian, that his side had made the impossible look possible.
“Maybe we’ve made the impossible look possible,” Southgate said. “It’s exciting for other people and I can understand that. We want England to be competitive for years to come and I believe that our academy system has got that.
Iran looks to ease political tensions in the country through football
Iran’s first-ever meeting with England is seen as a great moment for the Asian team. However, this has been overshadowed by the political situation back in the country. Many in the squad, like Sardar Azmoun, have supported the anti-government protests back home and they will look to provide joy to the team with an upset win over the Three Lions on Monday.
England will be aiming for a fast start to ease the tensions of Southgate but Iran will surely prove to a tricky side on the day. Carlos Quieroz’ men are no pushovers and are currently ranked 20th in the FIFA rankings.
The match in the Khalifa International Stadium will be significant for many reasons. But for England, if they’re to bring the World Cup home, they will need a fast start and Iran will be looking to make sure that doesn’t happen.