The England national team manager is concerned that his team will have little time to prepare for the 2022 World Cup even though the Three Lions are getting a draw that is not too heavy on Saturday (2/4) early morning WIB.
England will face Iran in their World Cup opener in Qatar on November 21, eight days after the last Premier League game before the World Cup break begins.
The Three Lions will then face the United States as well as a Britana derby against Scotland or Wales if one of those countries manages to get rid of Ukraine in the playoffs.
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The semifinals of the World Cup playoffs between Scotland and Ukraine were postponed until June due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The first two names are teams we haven’t faced in a long time,” Southgate told the BBC.
“Our third opponent is still unknown but it opens up the British derby and we recognize how tough and important it is.”
“For us, our schedule is very clear that we have to play a Premier League game and then go straight away as soon as possible.”
England have never met Iran and have bad memories against the US at the World Cup.
The US beat England 1-0 in the 1950 World Cup and then the two teams drew 1-1 at the 2010 World Cup.
However, at present, the Three Lions are seen as the flagship team for the 2022 World Cup after they made it to the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of the 2020 European Cup.
“I think when your team is considered the seed you have the advantage of avoiding the best six or seven teams,” said Southgate.
“However, the US is an interesting opponent. I know Gregg Berhalter (the coach of the US national team) very well. We have met several times and had a long conversation.”
“The US national team has good players and we are aware of their abilities. So, it will be an interesting match,” concluded Southgate. (AFP/OL-1)