Gareth Southgate set to drop Phil Foden and start Arsenal and Chelsea stars in England’s 2022 FIFA World Cup opener against Iran

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England manager Gareth Southgate is set to kick off Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Chelsea’s Mason Mount in his side’s 2022 FIFA World Cup opener against Iran today (21 November).

Manchester City striker Phil Foden is expected to miss out on a starting spot, according to The Telegraph. Saka, who has been in prolific form for Arsenal this season, will likely get the nod to start against Iran.

The 21-year-old has scored five goals and provided six assists in 20 appearances in all competitions. His performances helped the Gunners take a five-point lead in the Premier League and the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

Bukayo Saka in training for England today. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Bukayo Saka in training for England today. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Southgate are set to start a four-man defense in England’s FIFA World Cup opener, which would also leave room for Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount. He has registered two goals and six assists in 21 games for the Blues in all competitions this season.

Saka and Mount played key roles in England’s draw against Germany in their final UEFA Nations League game in September. The duo were brought in as substitutes with the Three Lions trailing 1-0 and helped them draw 3-3.

Foden could start games against the United States and Wales on November 25 and 29 respectively, as Southgate intends to rotate his squad. Meanwhile, Kyle Walker and James Maddison are unlikely to be fit for the FIFA World Cup opener in England on Monday.

Alan Shearer backs Arsenal striker Bukayo Saka to start for England at 2022 FIFA World Cup

Former England striker Alan Shearer believes Bukayo Saka should start in the Three Lions FIFA World Cup opener against Iran. He praised Saka for his mentality and ability on the ball.

Shearer told LadBible TV:

“Saka definitely. Good time with Arsenal, he proved he can handle it mentally after what happened to him at the Euros. I came back stronger. So, for me, definitely on that right side. Pace, direct, can create, can score.

Saka was one of three players to miss when England lost on penalties to Italy in the European Championship final at Wembley last year. Subsequently, he had to suffer a lot of insults and racist remarks.

However, the youngster returned with flying colors and has now become a key player for his club. He will now look to do the same for England at the FIFA World Cup.

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By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at