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England to learn World Cup draw fate

02 December 2017

Southgate was part of the England team that defeated Tunisia 2-0 in the opening game of the 1998 tournament and added: "Remembering the Tunisia game in 1998, it was the first thing that went through my mind".

We now know who Gareth Southgate's England will face in the group stages of next summer's World Cup.

After avoiding Argentina, Brazil and Germany, England were the penultimate team picked from Pot 2 by Diego Maradona in the draw ceremony in the Kremlin's State Palace.

Their first fixture is against Tunisia on June 18, with Panama next and the mighty Belgians 10 days after the opener.

England will take on the top-ranked nation in their group, Belgium, in their final match on June 28, a schedule that should also favour Southgate's team, says Murphy.

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Southgate pointed to England's premature exits from the last World Cup and Euro 2016 as reasons for limiting expectations. "But also not being fearful of what might happen is an important balance to find".

Spain and Portugal, given all their talent and firepower, should make light work of Morocco and Iran.

"Yes, a couple of them had a taste of it at the last tournament, but many of them will not feel that weight and burden that a lot of the players have carried over a good few tournaments over the years".

We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website and bring you more relevant advertising. "It could help. We've got to get that period of training and recovery and freshness right".

"We've got six days of rest after our first game, which if they are anxious about travel, that shouldn't be an issue". "But if we do not beat Panama and Tunisia, we should start again!" "It is the key game for us, and I think if we can get a positive result there we have every chance of qualifying", added Maaloul. "That's the hard question, she was born in England but I'm sure I can persuade her to support Belgium".

England to learn World Cup draw fate