Friday, 15 December, 2017

All the best reaction as England draw Belgium, Panama and Tunisia

Hazard inspires Chelsea comeback against Newcastle World Cup 2018: England boss Gareth Southgate 'will not write off' tournament
Garry Little | 02 December, 2017, 00:55

France, Australia, Peru and Denmark make up Group C, with Group D perhaps the closest to a so-called "Group of Death" as it contains Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.

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

"I've said before that, for me, success would be that we come back and the country is proud of what we've done, and that will mean we've played in a certain way, conducted ourselves in a certain way but I would imagine we'd also have had to win a few games because otherwise they won't be very proud", Southgate told ITV News.

The England boss also did his coaching badges with Belgium's assistant coach Graeme Jones, the former Doncaster and Wigan striker who has been Martinez's right-hand man for the last decade.

Gareth Southgate's side have drawn Hazard's Belgium which will see Gary Cahill marking his Chelsea team-mate. Thankfully, another update from the fellas at Footy Headlines - a website which really knows its onions when it comes to leaked football kits - allows us to do precisely that. Now, the country knows what's coming and they can get excited.

In their 12 previous World Cup fixtures Tunisia have kept just one clean sheet, in a goalless draw against holders West Germany.

"It's a challenging group for both nations, probably the hardest one in terms of the travelling and logistics".

Speaking after Friday's slick ceremony at the Kremlin, the England manager admitted he was relieved to have avoided the likes of Brazil but said his team will face a "fascinating" challenge against Group G rivals Tunisia, Panama and top seeds Belgium.

Tunisia head coach Nabil Maaloul was relieved that the game will be played outside the opening few days, and believes his side can play with freedom against their heavily-favoured opponents.

"With the way Panama qualified by beating the United States it will be something we have to manage".

"It would be stupid of us to set targets".

"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".

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