England supervisor Gareth Southgate is to fly to Russia for a second Confederations Cup scouting journey this weekend so as to watch Germany and Chile in Sunday’s closing in St Petersburg, sources have advised ESPN FC.
Southgate, who has guided England to the highest of their World Cup qualifying group since succeeding Sam Allardyce as supervisor final September, spent 4 days in Russia earlier this month, attending Confederations Cup video games in Moscow, Kazan and Sochi.
The 46-year-old has been assessing potential opponents and off-field logistics forward of subsequent 12 months’s World Cup, which additionally takes place in Russia.
Sources on the Soccer Affiliation have advised ESPN FC that Southgate regards this Confederations Cup as massively beneficial when it comes to preparation for the World Cup, together with his go to to Moscow final week confirming fears that site visitors gridlock within the Russian capital makes it unsuitable as a possible base camp ought to England qualify for subsequent 12 months’s event.
With England contemplating the north-west metropolis of St Petersburg as a potential base in 2018 — the FA are additionally one among greater than 10 nationwide associations inquisitive about securing a base in or close to the Black Sea metropolis of Sochi — Southgate’s go to this weekend will allow him to evaluate the amenities, local weather and infrastructure in Russia’s second metropolis earlier than finalising a most well-liked checklist of coaching bases.
One in every of Southgate’s main issues over the situation of England’s potential base camp subsequent summer time is the space between different venues.
St Petersburg is a three-hour flight to Sochi within the south of Russia and an analogous journey time to Ekaterinburg, probably the most easterly metropolis set to stage video games at subsequent 12 months’s World Cup.
Nonetheless, the variety of top-class amenities in St Petersburg and proximity of Pulkovo Worldwide Airport to the town have positioned it excessive on the FA’s checklist of potential base venues.
Mark Ogden is a senior soccer author for ESPN FC. Comply with him @MarkOgden_