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England got off to a great start in the World Cup by beating Iran 6-2 in the first leg of Group B and sent a message to the rest of the tournament.

The new side of Gareth Southgate isn’t messing around.

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Bukayo Saka scored twice, while teenager Jude Bellingham scored the first goal and Raheem Sterling was also on the scoresheet before substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish added one each.

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Iran scored twice through Porto’s Mehdi Taremi, including a last-kick penalty of the game, but they were second in scoring and lost goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand early on after a nasty headbutt that saw him substituted.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

The win puts England in first place in Group B ahead of their clash with the US on Friday. Iran will play Wales on the same day and Carlos Queros’ team needs to improve this game a lot.

[ MORE: Latest Group B standings, schedule, scores ]

Saka leads the way in exciting revamped England

Bukayo Saka, 21, has been at the center of all the good things England has done. He scored twice, caused so many problems coming in from the right and set the tone from the start. England looked hungry, more dynamic, sharper and very comfortable in their new 4-3-3 formation. It seems to work best when Harry Kane goes deeper to create and Saka, Sterling, Mason Mount and Jude Bellingham come forward from midfield.

It was a very balanced game for England, but in the other two group games, their defensive side will face more challenges than this one. The teams will look to sit back and absorb the pressure that previously caused problems for England as they were much more like a counter-attacking team in a 4-2-3-1 formation. This new formation allows England to play the ball higher up the pitch and coalesce in the last third, with Rashford, Wilson, Grealish and Foden coming off the bench, what a great array of options Gareth Southgate has.

show stars

Bukayo Saka: Scored twice and went on to play brilliantly for Arsenal in his first World Cup. So patient and direct.

Jude Bellingham: He is only 19 years old. 19. Dominated midfield, scored the decisive goal and held the ball so calmly. Completed the entire game and looked wise beyond his years.

England vs Iran
Graphic via

How to watch England vs Iran live!

Kick off: 8:00 AM ET, Monday, November 21st.
StadiumAddress: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan.
TV channels in Spanish: Telemundo
Streaming in spanish: peacock (all 64 matches)

Key storylines, players to keep an eye on

Will England, as always, be able to handle the enormous weight of expectations placed on it by the country, its media, and the power and prestige of a team largely made up of Premier League giants? This is a question for the “Three Lions” in every tournament, and it does not need to be deepened. Kane and Raheem Sterling are the offensive stars, but Phil Foden and Declan Rice have firmly established themselves as the next generation. Will Jordan Pickford prove an effective star between clubs? In injury news, both Kyle Walker and James Maddison are under-prepared for the first leg against Iran, while Southgate opts for Harry Maguire despite missing minutes at Manchester United. Bukayo Saka starts the attack, and teenage Jude Bellingham teammates Mason Mount and Rice in midfield.

Iran knows how close it came to shocking the world when it beat Morocco and lost 1-0 to Spain before drawing Portugal 1-1 to end group play in 2018. This is the last chance for many players from a very good generation which includes Mehdi Taremi, Karim Ansarifard and Alireza Jahanbakhsh. Please note: 27-year-old striker Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen) will not start due to injury and captain Ehsan Haysafi (AEK Athens).

Fast facts about England

Current FIFA World Ranking: 5
World Cup titles: 1 (1966)
World Championship appearances: 15
How they qualified: Automatically qualified from UEFA.
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Key players: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Declan Rice.

Quick facts about Iran

Current FIFA World Ranking: 20
World Cup titles: 0
World Championship appearances: 5
How they qualified: Automatically qualified from the AFC (won Group A)
Coach: Dragan Skocic
Key players: Ehsan Haysafi, Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi.

Senegal vs Netherlands: Orange left late, but they pulled off a 2-0 victory over the reigning African champions in the first competitive match of the 2022 World Cup at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha on Monday.


Cody Gakpo led the long-awaited breakout in the 84th minute, at a time when a goalless draw looked both inevitable and a fair scoring. Davy Claassen scored the second goal in the 8th minute of stoppage time in the second half to put Louis van Gaal’s team in first place in Group A along with Ecuador (level 3 points, +2GD and 2 goals scored). Van Gaal, who was reappointed as head coach last August, also coached the Netherlands last time they played at the 2014 World Cup.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Senegal, meanwhile, drew level with Qatar in 3/4, but the good news is they have their toughest group stage match yet.

[ MORE: Latest Group A standings, schedule, scores ]

Senegal Manet poses no real threat

A strong defensive midfield that most teams in the world will find it hard to break? Check. A reliable back line with a world-class leader at its heart? Check. One or two secondary attack stars? Also check. A world-class attacking superstar…


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