England vs Iran – World Cup 2022: Live score, team news and updates

England vs Iran LIVE: Southgate ditches his back five in first World Cup game with Saka and Sterling in attack with Kane… as ticket chaos means THOUSANDS of fans are struggling to get in

Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for England’s opening World Cup clash as they take on Iran in Group B. 

Host commentator

They haven’t won since March and failed to win any of their Six Nations game this year on their way to being relegated to League B – and that includes a 4-0 humbling by Hungary at Molineux.

Still, there are legitimate excuses for that, including experimental and much changed line-ups. It’s not unusual for teams to suddenly hit form once a tournament comes around, let’s hope England can prove that.

Six horses representing the top sides in the World Cup ran a race at Haydock, which was won by England and Bryony Frost.

Gareth Southgate’s side are 8/1 to replicate the success by going on to win the World Cup in Qatar.

🏆 Race To The World Cup Stakes

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England
🇫🇷 France
🇧🇷 Brazil
🇦🇷 Argentina
🇪🇸 Spain
🇩🇪 Germany

🏇 It was the first ever horse race to predict the outcome of the World Cup!

⚽ Who would win, is football coming home?

⬇️ Watch the full race now! pic.twitter.com/9XE9KRB6mJ

Of course this one, but following that is Holland’s game with Senegal from Group A, which got underway with the opening game of the tournament last night when Ecuador defeated the host nation Qatar 2-0. Rounding up the day’s action is the other game in England’s group, with Wales taking on the United States.

react to news England won’t wear One Love rainbow armband after threats from FIFA

🗣 'I am DISGUSTED. Once again it's FIFA destroying this competition'@DominicKing_DM and @SamiMokbel81_DM react to news England won't wear One Love rainbow armband after threats from FIFA 🏳️‍🌈 pic.twitter.com/UePX89YJhu

Alireza Beyranvand, Rouzbeh Cheshmi, Ali Karimi, Sadeq Moharrami, Ehsan Hajisafi, Milad Mohammadi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Mehdi Taremi, Majid Hosseini, Ahmad Nourollahi, Morteza Pouraliganji

Former England striker Gary Lineker will be joined by other ex Three Lions internationals including Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Micah Richards.

The stage is set 💥@England journey is about to begin! Score predictions???? #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/5pwR0euhsi

Pickford, Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Rice, Bellingham, Saka, Mount, Sterling, Kane.

As reported by Sportsmail, Saka gets the nod over Foden to start for the Three Lions with Bellingham also in Southgate’s starting XI.

‘It’s NOT coming home… because of Harry Maguire!’: Iran fans mock England centre back in the build up to opening World Cup Group B game in Qatar

Looks like Iran have identified who they think is the weak link in the England starting line-up.

There’s been lots of stick over Harry Maguire’s form in recent times – some of it justified admittedly. He rarely lets England down though and I hope he can bounce back at this tournament.

Kick-off is just over an hour away now and the likes of Harry Kane, Declan Rice and Gareth Southgate have arrived as they inspect the pitch.

That also means team news is just minutes away from coming in…

From Toulon to Qatar, Gareth Southgate has been on a LONG journey to this World Cup… the England boss has been laying the foundations at St George’s Park since joining the U21s in 2013 – he is ready to go for glory in Doha

DOMINIC KING: In May 2014, Southgate — then England Under 21 head coach — took a squad to the Toulon Tournament for the first time since 2005. It did not get much exposure at the time, with the World Cup in Brazil looming, but it was a significant moment for a generation of young England players.

Is there a parking spot for it on the edge of the penalty area, or do we have a more attacking surprise in store from Iran?

🎥 اتوبوس تیم ملی دقایقی پیش عازم استادیوم خلیفه شد#برای_ایران pic.twitter.com/ixlkPUaABM

Iran’s facilities are just about the same. No clear home/away team bias in the infrastructure at this ground.

There are some Iran supporters protesting in support of women’s rights, while England fans are getting the flags ready inside the Khalifa International Stadium.

And I don’t mean the Christmas type.

Brazilian match official Raphael Claus is in charge and he is certainly not shy when it comes to dishing out the yellow and red cards.

Back in September he was in charge of a league match between Flamengo and Fluminense where he produced FIVE red cards as well as five yellows and also awarding a penalty kick.
Even in his most recent game between Cortiba and Flamengo he awarded eight yellows (plus a penalty). Maybe it’s a Flamengo thing but it’s something England should be wary of.

Iran’s form is looking pretty good coming into the tournament. From the eight games they have played this year they have won five, including a freindly win over Uruguay (inside Austria of course!) back in September.

It’s an experienced squad too. All of their players are above the age of 26 except one – and one even features for Premier League outfit in Brentford in the form of Saman Ghoddos who has 33 international caps.

Trick question, that. England have never actually played Iran – not even in a friendly making this their first ever meeting.

Well, they nowhere near as bad as you may think if you have only glanced at their football history. Granted, they’ve never gone beyond the first round and have only ever won two World Cup games from 15, but there is much to be wary of here.

For a start at the previous World Cup in Russia they were put in a group with Morocco, Portugal and Spain. They went out after beating Morocco but losing the games against the European powerhouses – where they put in excellent battling performances. They were very unfortunate to exit the tournament.

They are also ranked 20th in the world – for reference that’s just one place behind Wales – making Group B the tightest group if you are measuring by quantitative data at this World Cup.

WORLD CUP CONFIDENTIAL: Raheem Sterling will start Iran opener because Gareth Southgate is immensely loyal

Some more from our World Cup Confidential includes his views on England’s attack too and who should be playing to support Harry Kane out of Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden.

Read more below

The director’s cut if you prefer at just over 15 minutes. Always worth giving a listen to CHRIS SUTTON though.

Why wouldn’t Iran focus on Harry Maguire? The struggling centre back shouldn’t be at this World Cup! Sportsmail’s writers debate England’s opener in Qatar in today’s WORLD CUP CONFIDENTIAL

Sportsmail’s Chris Sutton believes that Maguire is a point of weakness for Gareth Southgate’s side, with the defender set to start despite barely featuring for his club and struggling for form over the past year.

Read more below from our daily ‘World Cup Confidential’

Gianni Infantino is, presumably, not feeling gay today

England WON’T wear ‘OneLove’ rainbow armband: Harry Kane is forced to back down over LGBT band as FA says it ‘can’t put players in a position where they face sporting sanctions’

Wearing the armband with the risk of a yellow card proved too much for the FA so they have stood down. Have England backed down a little too easily here from their original position, or are they just protecting their sporting interests – the primary reason they are in Qatar?

Either way you can read more on the breaking news below…

Here’s a few of them in town for Their side’s World Cup opener.

The sun’s out, the match ball is ready to be kicked… but we just need a few fans and (probably) the teams first before we get underway. Kick-off is at 1pm UK time and 4pm local.

Some of you may be unfamiliar to the group phase of a World Cup, or may be confused by the way the European Championship does it now, so here is a brief reminder on how it all works.

All the teams will play each other once, and the top two teams with the most points will go through to the last-16 of the tournament. Third and fourth place will be out – so unlike the Euros there is no potential safety net of a best-placed third place finish to progress.

The winner of Group B will play the runner-up of Group A, which features Qatar, Senegal, Holland and Ecuador, and the runner-up of Group B will play the winner of Group A.

Here is the lowdown on Group B…

It’s Iran today, but there matches to come against the United States and Wales in this group. To get you up to speed, we have produced this guide to England’s group rivals.

MARTIN SAMUEL: Gareth Southgate has made the impossible possible – he’s created an England side capable of a real crack at the Qatar World Cup

We’ve had the montage, now we need some positive pre-match reading. The Daily Mail’s chief sports writer MARTIN SAMUEL believes England under Gareth Southgate have a real good shot of going all the way in Qatar.

Click below for more

Gareth Southgate confirms England WILL take the knee before kick-off

England had ditched taking the knee for the recent Six Nations (and the less we talk about that particular competition from an England perspective the better) but the players now look like they will return to the gesture for the World Cup.

Click for more below

If Fifa book Kane or any other captain for wearing a OneLove armband, they will make themselves look even more preposterous than ever. The Opening Ceremony last night was full of their one world platitudes. Now they’re threatening punishment for this?

More team news… this time for England’s third group game

And this all rests on events before England take on Iran. Confused? Let’s clear this up.

Harry Kane and England have vowed to wear the OneLove captain armband that promotes inclusivity at the World Cup, but it looks like in doing so he risks a booking before kick-off for breaching FIFA rules. Two yellow cards over the next two games and he could be suspended for what may be a crucial Battle of Britain with Wales in the final group game.

Click below for more

Need to get in the mood? After all this isn’t your typical England opener. Usually this kind of thing takes place near the dog days of summer when the sun is out and the days are long.

A damp cold November morning with Christmas on the way is new territory for stuff like this (my polite way of saying it perhaps could have been timed better), so here is a montage to get you fired up.

Time to unite. Time to write a new chapter. pic.twitter.com/ahjmgY60jL

First up some team news from the England camp

How will England line up today? Well we have a fair idea that the Three Lions will go on the attack from the start of this game and that means a start for Arsenal star Bukayo Saka who is likely to pip Phil Foden to a starting place.

Gareth Southgate though could also be prepared to field teenage midfielder Jude Bellingham but you can check out the latest on how England will line up today below.

After the opening game yesterday, already we have England in action as they bring the second game of the World Cup against Iran.

Nervous? Given England’s form over the last few months there are grounds for that – but now is the time for Gareth Southgate’s side to prove the last World Cup and the Euros last summer were no fluke showings.

Good morning all and welcome to our live coverage of England vs Iran as the Three Lions get their campaign underway in Qatar.

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