It has been an old battle but England are finally at the end of their World Cup qualifying campaign.
All that stands in the way of the three lions’ investment in football immortality is San Marino, the lowest ranked FIFA nation on the planet right now.
Gareth Southgate’s team only needs one point to secure their development, but anything less than a comfortable victory here would be unacceptable.
Here’s what you need to know about the game …
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12 November 2021
When is kick off? Monday 16 November, 19:45 (BST)Where is the match played? San Marino Stadium, Serravalle Which TV channel is it on? ITV (UK), fuboTV (USA)Highlights? ITV, 22:45 (BST)Who is the judge? Rade Obrenovic Who is WHERE? Slavko Vincic
San Marino’s experienced squad was weakened when David Tomassini was forced out in the first half of their 4-0 loss to Hungary.
Regular captain Davide Simoncini will also be missing … because he was not called up to the squad in the first place.
Gallagher is in the squad / Justin Setterfield / GettyImages
England has a long list of absentees before this. Luke Shaw and Mason Mount never joined the squad due to concussions and dental surgery, respectively, while Marcus Rashford has also withdrawn from the fight.
In addition, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson have not traveled to San Marino with Conor Gallagher called in their place. He, along with Aaron Ramsdale, is standing in line for a virgin hat here.
San Marino: Benedettini; Battistini, Fabri, Rossi, Grandoni; Zafferani, E. Golinucci, Lunadei, Ceccaroli; Nanni, Hirsch
England: Ramsdale; Maguire, Coady, Mings; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Bellingham, Chilwell; Saka, Kane, Smith Rowe
Can we just shock you? England have won all seven previous meetings between these two sides.
When all these matches are taken into account, the total score is 42-1 to Three Lions. It’s quite extensive.
San Marino’s best result ever against England is a 5-0 loss, which they have noted on three different occasions.
Southgate may have a long list of injuries to deal with, but any notion that this will not end in a huge England win is imaginative.
The three lions should score at least five goals here and the main purpose will be to get through the competition without getting any more shocks.
We expect to see a first England attack for either Gallagher or Emile Smith Rowe as well.
Forecast: San Marino 0-5 England
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