World Cup 2022: All you need to know about England
England head to the World Cup with plenty of expectation after impressing at recent tournaments under Gareth Southgate.
The Three Lions are among the favourites in Qatar but there is added scrutiny on their boss after disappointing results in the Nations League earlier this year.
Anything short of a semi-final may be considered a failure for Southgate’s men — whether or not they have the capability to get that far remains to be seen though.
England's group fixtures and UK kick-off times
England vs Iran (Monday, November 21, 1pm)
England vs USA (Friday, November 25, 7pm)
Wales vs England (Tuesday, November 29, 7pm)
How England qualified for Qatar 2022
England cruised through their qualifying campaign undefeated, winning eight and drawing two of their games.
Those two draws came away in Poland and at home to Hungary as they put the likes of San Marino, Albania and Andorra to the sword.
In total, they scored 39 goals and conceded only three as Southgate’s side booked the Three Lions’ seventh consecutive World Cup spot.
How England could line up
Jordan Pickford is England’s undisputed No1 and the three centre-backs will likely be John Stones, Eric Dier and Harry Maguire with Kyle Walker an injury doubt.
Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw will provide the width, with the exciting midfield duo of Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice in the engine room.
Up front, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane are certainties to start, while Southgate has preferred Phil Foden from the left in recent games.
Predicted XI: Pickford; Stones, Dier, Maguire; Trippier, Rice, Bellingham, Shaw; Sterling, Kane, Foden
Star man: Harry Kane
The 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner, Kane is England’s skipper and remains their talisman despite other exciting forward talent.
He has started the season in fine form too, netting 12 goals in 15 Premier League games for Tottenham, despite some criticism of Antonio Conte’s style of play in North London.
Kane could well become England’s record goalscorer in Qatar — he has notched 51 goals in 75 games, and sits just two behind current leader Wayne Rooney.
One to watch: Jude Bellingham
A bit-part player at Euro 2020, this World Cup feels like the time Jude Bellingham will announce himself on the biggest stage.
Already a star in Europe, where he has captained Borussia Dortmund aged just 19, Bellingham has all the attributes to win games for the Three Lions.
The teenager has started six of England’s past seven games and completed 90 minutes in the September matches against Italy and Germany, meaning he is a nailed-on starter.
The boss: Gareth Southgate
Despite leading England to a World Cup semi-final four years ago and the Euro 2020 final last year, Southgate enters Qatar under pressure.
The 52-year-old’s defensive tactics are unpopular with some, while his selections, particularly at centre-back, have been criticised.
But his tournament record is second-to-none among recent England managers and he understands what it takes to go deep when it matters most.
England's official 26-man World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham)
Forwards: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), James Maddison (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Callum Wilson (Newcastle)
All information correct as of November 14, 2022