Tunisia to open against England at World Cup
England have been drawn with Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G at next year’s Fifa World Cup in Russia.
Gareth Southgate’s men will begin their tournament against Tunisia on Monday, 18 June (19:00 BST) in Volgograd.
They will then face World Cup debutants Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on 24 June (13:00 BST) before playing top seeds Belgium four days later in Kaliningrad (19:00 BST).
Russia play Saudi Arabia in the opening game in Moscow on 14 June (16:00 BST).
Holders Germany are in Group F with Mexico, Sweden and South Korea while five-times winners Brazil are in Group E alongside Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
The 2018 tournament takes place in 12 stadiums across Russia between 14 June and 15 July.
World Cup groups in full
- Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
- Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
- Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
- Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
- Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
- Group F: Germany, Sweden, Mexico, South Korea
- Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
- Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
A good group for England?
England have not lost to Belgium in their past 11 meetings – and their only defeat against them in 23 games was in 1936.
The Three Lions have met Tunisia twice before, drawing a friendly in 1990 and beating the North Africans in their opening game of the 1998 World Cup in France, while England have never met Central America country Panama.
|England’s record against their group-stage opponents|
England’s possible route to the final
In summary, reaching the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 15 July is not going to be easy.
If England top their group, their path to the final could see them come up against Colombia, Brazil, France and then Germany.
If Southgate’s side finish second then it could be Poland, Germany, Spain and then Brazil in the final.
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More to follow.