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‘Fresher’ England stars will benefit from World Cup schedule to help win in Qatar

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he 2022 World Cup taking place in the first half of the domestic season will give England a greater chance of glory in Qatar, says Glenn Hoddle.

The former Three Lions star and manager is confident that Gareth Southgate will have “fresher” players to pick from for the November 21 opener against Iran, even if it comes only days after the Premier League season is paused.

“Given that this World Cup isn’t coming at the end of a long and hard season, all the teams will be a lot fresher, but they don’t go through the same Premier League difficulty that the England players do,” he told Betfair.

“We’ll be a lot fresher and I think playing in November and December will help England.

“Casting my mind back to when I was a player, I think it would be exciting to kick off the season and then have a World Cup sooner, instead of having a long, hard season with lots of cup games.

“In 1982, we were going all the way for four trophies and it was a tiring season and at the end of it we had a World Cup, so for the players it’s exciting that they are going to be going into a World Cup fresh in November, I think the players will be peaking and they will be at their fittest. I think it will suit England.”

Along with Iran, England will face United States and a European play-off winner (Ukraine, Scotland or Wales) in Group B, with victory in the first round leading on to a potentially favourable last-16 tie against the runners-up of a weak Group A.

Hoddle added: “I can’t see any hurdles that England could fall at in the group, even if we got a draw against one of them I still think we would qualify.

“England can win the World Cup. Gareth has got a great record, he’s taken them to the semi-final of the last World Cup and he got to the final of the Euros.

“If England are a race horse they are ready to win. They’re one of the favourites and this group of players are capable of winning the tournament.”

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