It’s been a long time since I’ve seen three Arsenal players in the England starting XI. But that’s exactly what happened an hour before the final Group I qualifier at San Marino when manager Gareth Southgate entrusted three Gunners players to his starting line-up.
Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, fullback Bukayo Saka and striker Emile Smith Rowe are the three Arsenal players who dominated the starting XI for the Three Lions at the San Marino Stadium in Serravalle on Tuesday (16/11). This is Ramsdale’s debut for the national team.
The last time an England coach involved three Arsenal players at once was when they played a friendly against Scotland in November 2014, when Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain helped the Three Lions win 3-1 that time. That means exactly 7 years ago!
Smithe Rowe will play a role on the left side with captain Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) in the middle and Phil Foden (Manchester City) on the right. Three players who will fill the English midfield are Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), and Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund). While the four defenders are Saka, then Harry Maguire (Man United), Conor Coady (Wolves) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool).
England only need one point to ensure they advance to the 2022 World Cup directly, with a score of 24 it is impossible to catch up with Poland (20) who is ranked second in Group I and will welcome Hungary’s arrival at the same hour, Tuesday morning.
Only the winners of the European zone qualifying group can qualify automatically for Qatar. The 10 second-placed teams from the group will join the top two UEFA Nations League teams that have not yet qualified for the World Cup in the fight for the remaining three tickets for the region.