Preview: San Marino vs England on March 22nd

21/03/2013 no comments »
England v Mexico - International Friendly

Photo: Wembley National Stadium Ltd

Football minnows San Marino will host England at the Serravalle Stadium on 22nd March 2013 in a World Cup qualifying match.

San Marino is a microstate situated in the Italian Peninsula and has an estimated population of 30,000 people. The International team have only ever won one game, which was a 1-0 victory in a friendly against Liechtenstein back in 2004. Apart from this and four draws, they have lost the remainder (111) of their International fixtures in their history as a national football team, scoring just 19 goals and conceding a massive 482. Their record is certainly not expected to be improved when they face England, who are ranked as the 4th best team in the world according to the FIFA rankings. The team is made up of players from the Sammarinese football leagues and the low tiers of Italian football, such as Serie D. Their top scorer is their Captain Andy Selva, who has represented the national side for fourteen years and scored 8 goals in total. San Marino are currently bottom of Group H with 0 points and they have unsurprisingly never qualified for a major tournament.

On the other hand, England are second in the group on 8 points, below Montenegro with 10 points and ahead of Poland (5 points). Performances in the group against Poland and Ukraine, which both ended 1-1, have been questionable, but an impressive 2-1 win against World Cup hosts Brazil at Wembley should reinstall the faith within England fans. The national side has experienced a centre-back crisis as of late, with John Terry (Chelsea) retired, Michael Dawson and Gary Cahill injured and with Rio Ferdinand withdrawing from the squad. Despite the lack in caps of Chris Smalling, Steven Caulker and Steven Taylor and the loss in form of Joleon Lescott, each defender has enough quality to step in and do the job. The last time the two sides met England prevailed in a 5-0 win, with Manchester United players Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck scoring two goals each and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring his first International goal.

With the record of San Marino mind, the players and fans of England will just be asking the question of how many goals they can put past their opponents. San Marino surely cannot conjure up an upset and grab their second ever win…can they?

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