England to learn World Cup draw fate


Ireland's World Cup playoff conquerors Denmark are in Group C alongside France, Australia and Peru.

Gareth Southgate has reacted to England's World Cup draw, telling talkSPORT underestimating any teams in their group would be a mistake.

England were drawn with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in Group G of the 2018 finals and will open their campaign against Tunisia on June 18 before facing Panama six days later, then closing the group with top seeds Belgium on June 28.

"Tunisia and Panama, we have to do more research on".

"We're the second-ranked team in that group so it's understandable how people will pitch it but, equally, in the last two tournaments we went out to teams we thought we'd beat".

With Belgium able to call upon Premier League stars such as Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku at Manchester United, they are now ranked fifth in the world, 10 places higher than England.

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Coach Roberto Martinez took over the Belgium job previous year after leaving Everton, and Southgate expects to see him scouting players frequently around the Premier League.

Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan make up Group H.

Gareth Southgate's side then travel to Nizhny where they will face Panama on Sunday, 24 June at 1pm United Kingdom time.

Despite being handed a relatively kind draw, Southgate says his men must do the background work to ensure they are prepared to deliver the goods when they come up against Tunisia and Panama.

"As a player you are judged a lot by what happens with your club, but in the end the world stars are ultimately judged by what they do with their country, and in major tournaments, this is the stage for all of our guys to show exactly the level they are capable of". "So to have the opportunity to do that as a coach now, leading my team into an opening fixture of the World Cup, will be an incredibly proud moment".