European heavyweights England and the Netherlands launch their World Cup campaigns on Monday because the event in Qatar shifts into the next gear after a dispiriting defeat for the hosts. Asian champions Qatar turned the primary residence nation to lose their opening World Cup match as Ecuador cruised to a 2-0 victory on Sunday, with veteran ahead Enner Valencia scoring twice. England, who meet Iran in Group B, will probably be determined to start out strongly as they aim an finish to their decades-long trophy drought after two close to misses lately.
Gareth Southgate’s males made a shock run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals in Russia earlier than reaching their first main ultimate for 55 years ultimately yr’s European Championship.
Regardless of his success as England boss, Southgate has confronted criticism over his perceived damaging ways and stress has mounted after a poor run of outcomes.
“The first thing for a coach is to enable (the team) to win,” he stated. “Then of course you want to play football that excites people, that players enjoy.
“Our problem is to offer supporters a event that’s memorable. Now we have taken them on a incredible journey within the final two tournaments.”
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With tougher matches to come against the United States and Wales, England cannot afford a slow start against Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium.
England’s opener takes place against the background of deadly demonstrations in the Islamic republic.
Iran’s clerical leadership has been shaken by more than two months of women-led protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman of Kurdish origin who had been arrested by the morality police in Tehran.
Defender Ehsan Hajsafi said: “They need to know that we sympathise with them,” adding that “situations at residence will not be good”.
– Bale leads Wales –
The other game in Group B pits the USA against Gareth Bale’s Wales, who are playing in their first World Cup since 1958.
Captain Bale said he hoped to inspire a new generation of Welsh footballers.
“Everybody’s dreamt of it for such a very long time,” said the former Real Madrid forward. “We have had so many shut calls. For us to be the crew to recover from the road was unbelievable.
“But more importantly the best thing (is) to grow football in our country, to inspire another generation. By doing that hopefully we’re going to have a stronger national team in the future.”
The Netherlands tackle Senegal in Group A, with the African champions lacking their injured talisman, Sadio Mane.
The Dutch didn’t qualify for the World Cup in Russia in 2018 however the three-time runners-up are again in enterprise below veteran supervisor Louis van Gaal, who led the crew to the semi-finals in 2014.
“We have to believe in our qualities and ourselves and be confident,” stated Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.
“We have a fantastic manager, an experienced manager. We have players who play at the highest level, the biggest clubs in the world.”
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse was bullish about his facet’s probabilities regardless of the absence of Mane.
“Of course we won’t hide the importance of Sadio Mane for the Senegalese team — he’s very important, a coach builds his team around his best players.
“However there’s additionally a bunch right here with skilled gamers, with younger gamers able to step up. We have needed to play matches earlier than with out Sadio Mane.”
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