England's World Cup Opponents: San Marino

Last updated : 08 February 2021 By Three Lions

In this most unusual of football years, England will begin their World Cup qualification campaign just months ahead of their bid to win a major tournament, the delayed Euro 2020, on home soil.

Gareth Southgate's squad will play ten qualification matches in 2021 in their bid to book a spot at Qatar 2022 next winter.

The Three Lions have been drawn alongside Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra and San Marino in their qualifying group, with only the group winner guaranteed a World Cup berth.

In reverse order, England Mad takes a look at the opponents standing in England's way, beginning with San Marino who come to Wembley for the group opener on 25th March.

The UEFA minnows are painfully used to heavy defeats in qualifying campaigns but the advent of the Nations League, and regular matches against sides of a similar standing, has allowed San Marino to build some more promising foundations for the future.


Most recently they achieved a major milestone by avoiding defeat for two consecutive matches, a goalless draw against Gibraltar following a similar result against Liechtenstein.

Speaking to the official FIFA website, defender Dante Rossi told of how much confidence his side have gained from their improved results.

"We’ve worked a great deal as a group," he said. "Thanks in particular to our coach Franco Varrella, our mentality and approach to games has changed and evolved, making us more solid and better organised.

"These days, we take to the field in the knowledge that we can compete with our opponents. In short, we’re starting to believe in ourselves and in our potential. I hope this is just the beginning."

England's two ties with San Marino bookend their qualifying campaign with the return fixture scheduled for 15th November.