England will take a knee before their World Cup opener against Iran, manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed.
England kick off their 2022 World Cup campaign against Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday.
“We feel we should take the knee. We think it is a strong statement to go around the world particularly for younger people,” Southgate said.
All the players other than James Maddison and Kyle Walker are set to be available for Southgate.
Walker is still recovering from groin surgery, while Maddison has yet to train since arriving in Qatar after picking up a knee problem.
“Kyle Walker is a little bit short for this game but is progressing really well. We are ahead of where we thought he might be at this point,” Southgate said.
“James hasn’t been able to train since we arrived so he will not be able to make the game tomorrow.”
Queiroz: England are ‘very, very dangerous’
Carlos Queiroz – Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant manager at Manchester United – is coaching Iran at a third World Cup finals and has been impressed by England.
“This new generation that Gareth Southgate is bringing for the national team in my opinion is probably the most competitive English national team since 1966 that I had the opportunity to see,” the Portuguese said.
“I remember that team very well but this team is very, very functional, very practical, very realistic.
“I work with the generation of Rio (Ferdinand), Paul Scholes, David Beckham, all those guys.
“But this national team is really, really different because they make a realistic approach to any single game, which makes them very, very dangerous.”
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2022 World Cup draw
- Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
- Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales
- Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
- Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
- Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
- Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
- Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
- Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea
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