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Saturday, November 26, 2022

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When does the England squad meet before the World Cup?

The 26 England players going to the 2022 World Cup will report for duty on Monday 14 November, straight after the final round of domestic club fixtures and only one week before the country’s opening Group B game against Iran on 21 November.

Due to the mid-season timing of this year’s World Cup, the first in the competition’s 92-year history to be held during a northern hemisphere winter, those called up will go straight from club duty in the Premier League – or Bundesliga in the case of Jude Bellingham – into international mode.

Bellingham will be in action for Dortmund on Friday, while the other 25 members of the squad will be playing for Premier League sides on Saturday or Sunday.

Gareth Southgate’s coaching and support staff will head to St. George’s Park at the weekend to start preparing for the players joining them there on Monday.

With little time to spare, the whole group will then fly to Qatar on Tuesday 15 November.

Such is the tight squeeze on time, England have no warm-up matches planned like they would normally before a major tournament.

England will base themselves at the Souq Al Wakra hotel whilst in Qatar. The accommodation is located by the coast to the south of capital city Doha.

Off the beaten track, it has previously been criticised for looking very basic from the outside, although its high walls and less than bustling location make for optimum privacy.

When David Beckham visited the hotel with former club and international teammate Gary Neville over the summer, he said: “The thing that you look for is tranquillity more than anything. You want to be in the middle of nowhere. This is the perfect set-up.”

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