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Can England exorcise the ghost of 1966? Three players set to be key against Iran

Can England exorcise the ghost of 1966? Three players set to be key against Iran

Durban — England will kick off another highly anticipated Fifa World Cup with a tricky test against Iran on Monday at 3pm.

The Three Lions arrived in Qatar as one of the competition favourites following the impressive qualification campaign that saw them go undefeated, scoring 39 goals in the ten qualifying matches and winning eight of them.

Their last World Cup participation in Russia saw them carve out a remarkable journey to the semi-final stage, and they followed that up with a run to the European Championship final, a signal of the kind of potential in their ranks.

Manager Gareth Southgate has some of the best players in the world at his disposal, but will have to match the tactical efficiency of veteran coach Carlos Queiroz in the Iran dug-out.

IOL Sports' Football Writer Smiso Msomi takes a look at three players that are set to be key for England against Iran:

Harry Kane

The captain of the Three Lions, Harry Kane is one of the best strikers of his generation.

He has led both England and his club Tottenham Hotspur for several years and has proven himself to be the man for the big stage.

He will be looking to replicate his efforts of the previous edition where he finished as the competition's top scorer with six goals, and a goal against Iran might be the perfect start.

Phil Foden

The Manchester City man has grown in leaps and bounds since his breakout season two years ago.

The 22-year-old is expected to be one of the first names on England's team sheet considering his exploits for his club this season.

He has managed seven goals and three assists in 14 appearances and will look to continue his fine form at the global showpiece.

Jude Bellingham

The dynamic midfielder is undoubtedly one of the highest commodities on the football market following his exploits with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund at just 19 years old.

His ability to arrive late in the opponent's box, together with his passing range and hard-running style make him one of England's best midfielders, and with Iran expected to form a defensive rearguard, his knack for a goal while remaining tactically disciplined will come in handy.

@ScribeSmiso

IOL Sport

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