5 talking points as England return to Wembley for Andorra qualifier

It will be the first Three Lions game at the national stadium since the Euro 2020 final.

Pa Sport Staff
Saturday 04 September 2021 15:24
England are back at Wembley (Mike Egerton/PA)
England are back at Wembley (Mike Egerton/PA)

England return to Wembley for the first since losing the Euro 2020 final when they host Andorra in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

The Three Lions have won their opening four games of Group I and will be heavy favourites to continue that run when they are back under the arch.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the main talking points ahead of Sunday’s fixture.

Fans under the spotlight

England fans outside Webley before the Euro 2020 final (Zac Goodwin/PA)

After the trouble surrounding the defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final which saw turnstiles stormed, flares let off and issues up and down Wembley Way, the behaviour of fans on Sunday will be closely monitored.

Around 65,000 supporters will be in attendance and, with UEFA sanctions hanging over the Football Association, the hope will be that there are no repeats this time around.

Support for social media targets

Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka (Nick Potts/PA)

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka suffered online racist abuse following their missed penalties in the shootout loss to Italy.

England boss Gareth Southgate said on the eve of further issues of racism in Hungary on Thursday that it is difficult to criticise other countries when there are still problems at home.

Supporter groups have raised the funds for a crowd banner showing support for the trio, with only Saka set to be involved in the game.

A change is as good as a rest

Gareth Southgate is set to make changes (Mike Egerton/PA)

Having won in Budapest on Thursday and with a trip to Poland to come on Tuesday, Southgate has said he will make alterations to his team against Andorra.

That means the likes of Nick Pope, Conor Coady, Tyrone Mings and Jude Bellingham will be keen to earn a rare start.

It is also likely to give more established players such as Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Raheem Sterling the chance to rest up again of the game in Warsaw.

Forward thinking

Patrick Bamford, right, could make his England debut (Nick Potts/PA)

If Kane does move to the bench the chances are Southgate will hand a debut to Leeds striker Patrick Bamford.

The former under-21 international has scored 18 Premier League goals in 41 appearances with Leeds and was considered an outside shot for making the Euro 2020 squad before being overlooked.

Kane, however, will be keen for some game time as he needs just one more goal to move level with Michael Owen on 40.

Andorra in form…

Andorra head to Wembley having won just their second game since March 2018.

Koldo Alvarez’s side beat fellow Group I minnows San Marino 2-0 on Thursday night with Sandefjord defender Marc Vales scoring a brace.

Andorra have, however, lost all four previous meetings with England with an aggregate score of 16-0.