England v San Marino: Where to Watch Live, Preview and Teams
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | October 12, 2012 8:23 PM EST
England resume their 2014 World Cup qualifiers against San Marino with the Three Lions currently occupying the second place in Group H, securing four points - out of a possible six - after the first round of fixtures in September.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 8 pm BST. iTV 1 and iTV 1 HD will provide live coverage of the game in the UK.
Roy Hodgson's side will be looking to notch up a big win against the minnows, to accelerate their rise in the table and also achieve a healthy goal difference, which could be important in the latter stages. England have been proficient against weaker opposition this campaign, having already clinched a 5-0 away win over Moldova in their opening fixture. However, Hodgson will be worried at England's inability to come good in the second game against Ukraine, riding their luck at times to come away with a point at Wembley.
On the other hand, San Marino, who are ranked at 207 in the FIFA rankings, will be looking for damage limitation than take England at their own game, something which may prove fatal in the context of the scoreboard. Giampaolo Mazza's side come into the fixture on the back of a 0-6 loss to Montenegro and will be hoping to keep the opposition score-sheet down to single digits as they take on the fifth best team in the world. San Marino's only win ever came eight years ago when they shocked Lichetenstein 1-0 at home in a friendly.
The fixture will bring back memories of the Three Lions' qualification campaign for the 1994 World Cup, when England - in light of their results against Norway, Holland and Poland - were left with the task of beating San Marino by seven clear goals at Bologna to qualify, provided Poland beat Holland in the other fixture. Graham Taylor's men were in for a shock in under 10 seconds, when La Serenissima striker Davide Gualtieri capitalised on a weak back-pass from Stuart Pearce to score past David Seaman. England were successful in their bid to notch up the required goals but were left undone by Gualtier's strike as the match ended 7-1. Taylor resigned from the managerial post soon after but was probably relieved by the fact that Poland had failed to win their match against Holland anyway.
- Last five (most recent first): D W W D W
- Last result: England 1 - 1 Ukraine
- Last five (most recent first): L L L L L
- Last result: San Marino 0 - 6 Montenegro
England: Hodgson will be without Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand, who have pulled out of the fixture citing injury and illness. Meanwhile, captain Steven Gerrard and his Liverpool teammate Glen Johnson will also be unavailable due to suspension. Wayne Rooney has been handed the armband in the absence of Gerrard and will lead the side at Wembley, three years after he first wore the armband in a friendly against Brazil.
John Terry, who recently announced his retirement from national duty, is expected to be replaced by Phil Jagielka, who will partner his former Everton team-mate Joleon Lescott in the centre of the defence. Kyle Walker will start at right-back in the absence of Johnson, while Ashley Cole might see off competition from Leighton Baines for the left-back role, despite being charged by the FA for his explosive tweets. The midfield is expected to retain the services of Manchester United duo Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverly. Hodgson may look to make an injection of pace on the left wing with the inclusion of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while either James Milner or Aaron Lennon could pop up on the right. Up front, Rooney is set to partner the in-form Jermain Defoe, with Andy Carroll expected to make an appearance at some stage.
San Marino: Mazza has no injury or suspension issues and has a full squad available to try stopping England running riot at Wembley. San Marino's squad consists of just one professional footballer in Mirko Palazzi, who plays for Italian fourth tier club Rimini. All others are understood to be part-timers, like Gualtieri who was a computer salesman.
Probable starting Line-ups:
England (4-4-1-1): Hart; Walker, Jagielka, Lescott, Cole; Milner, Carrick, Cleverley, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Rooney; Defoe
San Marino (4-2-3-1): A Simoncini; F Vitaoli, D Simoncini, Della Valle, Brolli; Matteo, Cervellini; Gasperoni, Marani, M Vitaoli; Rinaldi
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