England get lucky but Gareth Southgate urges caution

England frontman Marcus Rashford has revealed his excitement ahead of the looming draw for the group stages of next year's 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

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. They will face Belgium on June 28 in Kaliningrad in a thrilling conclusion to the group stage.

"The Belgium game could be good preparation if we do go through - keeping Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne will be fun", he said.

Tunisia are first up, in Volgograd on June 18, and there will be memories of England's 1998 World Cup opening game win against the same opponents in Marseille. We know it's probably the best side Belgium has ever had, and we know the quality they have.

Speaking to talkSPORT following the World Cup draw, the 47-year-old said: "If you look at the groups, because of the seeding you get two teams in the top 15/20 in the rankings and then a couple of teams who aren't in there".

Many of those players that take to the pitch will know each other well from playing in the Premier League week in week out, and the two managers will also be accustomed with one another after working as TV pundits together before worldwide management. Panama scored just nine goals in their final 10 qualifiers; their threat does not lie in their attacking play. "But if we do not beat Panama and Tunisia, we should start again!"

GETTY    
     RANDY Girls are waiting
GETTY RANDY Girls are waiting

The practice draw finished with England drawing Japan, arguably one of the stiffest sides in Pot 4.

If they reach the last eight, they are likely to face Germany or Brazil, but a quarterfinal appearance would be their best performance since 2006 and that should be the realistic expectation in Russian Federation.

England have the players to expect progression from their group, however.

"Dele Alli and Harry Kane are exceptional players".

Chief News Reporter Bryan Swanson will be reporting from the Red Square in the build up to the World Cup draw, live on Sky Sports News from 8am.



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