Tunisia coach Maaloul targets World Cup opener against England

03 December, 2017, 00:34 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • Gareth Southgate: 'England cannot simply write off 2018 World Cup'

The English football team will play Belgium, Panama, and Tunisia in the 2018 World Cup. The Hand of God plucked the ball containing England's name from a pot during the draw staged inside Moscow's State Kremlin Palace.

The third pot of seeds saw England drawn against Tunisia, who they will play in their opening game in Volgograd on June 18.

Southgate took charge of the Three Lions in September 2016 and has led the country to qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

In terms of Gareth Southagate's England side, their group is most likely to be made up of Costa Rica (17% chance), Panama (15.5% chance), and Brazil or Argentina (both a 20% chance). "But also not being fearful of what might happen is an important balance to find".

The tastiest group is Group B, which will be contested by Portugal, Spain, Morroco and Iran.

Argentina's Group D is one of the tougher pools, they will compete against Croatia, first-timers Iceland and familiar foes Nigeria.

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"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".

He added: "It would be easy to say there is a certain round and level but the reality is we don't know".

"You have got to prepare for whoever".

England will have no excuses should they fail to qualify from their group at next summer's World Cup after Friday's draw, former worldwide Danny Murphy told The Debate.

There could be a positive omen, too, in the Panama manager Hernán Darío Gómez having coached Colombia at France 98 when England beat them 2-0 and David Beckham scored a trademark free-kick from 30 yards.

Belgium have beaten England only once in 21 meetings - back in 1936 - but the side that boasts Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku is a fearsome beast.

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