Football: Southgate wary of lack of preparation time despite kind World Cup draw

DOHA (AFP) – England coach Gareth Southgate is cautious about the little time he will need to prepare his team for the 2022 World Cup despite a friendly draw for the group stage on Friday (April 1).

The Three Lions will face Iran on the opening day of the tournament in Qatar on November 21, just eight days after the final Premier League matches before the international break for the World Cup begins.

England will also face the United States, and potentially a British derby against Scotland or Wales if either side misses Ukraine in a play-off.

The play-off semi-final between Scotland and Ukraine has been postponed until June due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The first two are obviously teams we haven’t played in a long time,” Southgate told the BBC.

“The third is totally unknown but obviously gives a possible British derby, we know what they are about and had plenty of them.

“For us, we are in day one so it is quite clear now what our program looks like for the end of the Premier League season and to get out here as soon as possible.”

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