Southgate regrets ‘missed opportunity’ before England host Ivory Coast

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  • Facing a variety of teams more often would be ideal, says coach
  • England last played non-European opposition in November 2018

There is nothing obscure about the threat posed by Ivory Coast but their visit to Wembley still feels curiously like a break from routine. England have not faced an opponent from outside Europe since November 2018, when the USA were seen off in a friendly; this will be the first and last chance to give preparations for Qatar 2022 a cross-continental flavour.

In the seven months leading up to the last World Cup England were able to face Brazil and then, once the draw was known, schedule friendlies in early June against Nigeria and Costa Rica. The theory is traditionally that it pays to test oneself against opposition who are proximate, geographically at least, to forthcoming group stage foes but that is far more difficult now.

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Written by Nick Ames
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/mar/28/southgate-regrets-missed-opportunity-before-england-host-ivory-coast under the title “Southgate regrets ‘missed opportunity’ before England host Ivory Coast”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.