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Wed, 31 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0100
England are looking to make it three wins out of three in 2022 World Cup qualifying as they host Poland tonight
Gareth Southgate's Three Lions won their opening
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England are looking to make it three wins out of three in 2022 World Cup qualifying as they host Poland tonight.
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions won their opening two qualifiers last week, beating San Marino 5-0 at Wembley on Thursday before cruising to a 2-0 win over Albania in Tirana on Sunday.
With Poland already having dropped points in a 3-3 draw with Hungary, England know that victory would put them in firm control of Group I even at this early stage.
Southgate will be boosted by the fact that Poland star Robert Lewandowski is out injured, but may just rue the Bayern Munich striker’s absence given he would have provided England’s defence with a world-class test.
The game will also be Southgate’s final chance to see his side in action before he names his squad for Euro 2020, so there are more than just three points at stake for a few players this evening.
With kick-off at 7:45pm GMT, follow all the action with Dan Kilpatrick at Wembley on our LIVE match blog.
England XI: Pope, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell, Rice, Phillips, Mount, Foden, Kane, Sterling
Subs: Henderson, Johnstone, Trippier, Lingard, Coady, James, Dier, Calvert-Lewin, Mings, Shaw, Watkins, Bellingham
Gareth Southgate has made one change – Luke Shaw makes way for Ben Chilwell as the Three Lions stick with the four-man back line deployed against San Marino and Albania.
Mason Mount has also been given the green light to start after missing the beginning of training on the eve of the game.
England wins: 11
Poland wins: 1
Last meeting: England 2-0 Poland (World Cup qualifier, October 15, 2013)
Predicted England XI (3-4-3): Pope; James, Maguire, Stones, Chilwell; Rice, Phillips, Mount; Sterling, Kane, Foden
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)
Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
Even without Lewandowski, Poland should provide England’s biggest test of the international break, but the Bayern forward’s absence does bolster the Three Lions’ chances of continuing their recent run of clean sheets.
At the other end, Harry Kane will no doubt be desperate to continue his march towards Wayne Rooney’s all-time goalscoring record, having ended his international drought in Tirana.
Poland’s preparations have been turned upside down with captain and record goalscorer Robert Lewandowski having been ruled out with a knee injury.
They have also been disrupted by positive Covid-19 tests although one of the two players named on Tuesday, Grzegorz Krychowiak, has travelled after a second test was negative.
Kamil Piatkowski, Mateusz Klich and Lukasz Skorupski all tested positive.
Mason Mount has been declared fit after shaking off a minor injury and could start his eighth England game in a row.
Marcus Rashford (foot) and Bukayo Saka (hamstring) have been ruled out of the game through injury, while James Ward-Prowse has withdrawn as a precaution.
The England boss must also decide whether to continue with the 4-3-3 formation used against Albania and San Marino, or revert to the more conservative 3-4-3 used during last year’s Nations League campaign.
TV channel: The game will be broadcast live for free (to UK viewers with a valid TV licence) on ITV, with coverage beginning at 7:15pm.
Live stream: TV licence payers can stream the match live via the ITVHub website or app
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of tonight’s World Cup 2022 qualifier between England and Poland at Wembley Stadium!
World Cup Qualifiers World Cup Qualifiers
Wed, 31 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0100
England captain Harry Kane looks sharp in training before the World Cup qualifier against Poland at Wembley Credit: Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty
Well, we don’t need to but let’s face it his future has been one of the dominant themes of this international break (previews and reviews of a victory over San Marino don’t really cut it, so speculation about England’s key man it is!).
Gareth Southgate has come out and said he doesn’t expect his star striker to be distracted by by all the gossip – perhaps that’s more hope than expectation with the European Championship looming.
"He is always focused on the next match, he’s someone who can absolutely put anything to one side," ~Southgate said ahead of tonight’s match. "I’ve got no worries about Harry Kane, he’s a fantastic professional.
I had a chat with him and he’s very positive about the club.
He was speaking about being close to Champions League and the League Cup final."
Here’s what the man himself had to say about the matter…
READ: Harry Kane: I cannot let debate over my future come between me and England goals
3 – Mason Mount is the first Chelsea player to score or assist in three consecutive England appearances since Frank Lampard, who did so in seven in a row in a run ending in May 2013.
…Mason Mount is starting after worries about his fitness following a non appearance at Tuesday’s training session.
His Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell is preferred to Luke Shaw at left back.
Some may see that as a slightly contentious selection.
Chilwell did well against San Marino – got forward a lot and created four chances in the first half – but it was only against the worst side in world football.
Here's how your #ThreeLions line up for tonight's #WCQ against Poland! 👊 pic.twitter.com/NbJXPalzIh
Gareth Southgate has told his players it is time to deliver on their potential and take a huge step towards the World Cup against Poland on Wednesday.
The England manager wants his team to establish a five-point lead over their main qualification rivals, who will be without injured Robert Lewandowski and have suffered a number of Covid-19 positive tests.
Southgate’s young players have the European Championship this summer, but he says they cannot afford to miss out on reaching the most important tournament in football.
“We can go five points clear in the group, and that is a really important opportunity for us,” Southgate said.
“I know at the back of everyone’s mind there is a European Championship, but we’ve got qualifiers and it is crucial that we qualify.
“If we are not taking charge of the group, all the talk of potential and what this young group of players might be, they won’t get the opportunity to play at a major finals.
We have to make sure we get that right.
"We’ve been conscious all week that we want our performances to be at a high level and to get people excited about the team.
It’s important people are excited by the players coming through, and I think it’s one of the things, in every sport, that excites fans.
“You see young players, and you align that to success for a sustained period of time to come.
But the reality of that is that we don’t know what they will go on to do and what they will achieve in the next two-to-five years and what their individual stories will be.
We have some level-headed young players who will give themselves the best chance of success.
It’s a healthy environment to develop, but we have to deliver.” Mason Mount missed part of training and Southgate will make a late call on the Chelsea midfielder starting at Wembley.
Jesse Lingard is pushing for another start following his recall and Declan Rice is set to play in midfield.
While Southgate will rely on Harry Kane leading his attack on Wednesday and this summer, the manager says there are still places to fight for in his starting line-up.
“To win a tournament it is not just about your starting XI,” he said.
“You don’t know who will be available for different games.
This week is an example of that with the players we have missing.
"We are fortunate that we have some depth and the players that have come in have done really well.
In the past we were always worrying about losing one player and how it would affect the tournament, and that’s not a good situation to be in.” Grzegorz Krychowiak, who tested positive for coronavirus along with Kamil Piatkowski, was allowed to travel to London after a negative test.
Mateusz Klich and Lukasz Skorupski previously tested positive for Covid.
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– March 31, 2021
World Cup Qualifiers 2021 England vs Poland LIVE! Latest team news. lineups. TV. prediction .
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