No fear of England for Tunisia, Panama

World Cup group draw England face Belgium Panama and Tunisia
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03 December, 2017

After two dismal World Cups in Brazil and South Africa, England simply need to be a quarterfinal team again and, in Russian Federation, they really should be.

Their first fixture is against Tunisia on June 18, with Panama next and the mighty Belgians 10 days after the opener. Dier is a certainty for the defensive midfield role while going forward, Adam Lallana, Sterling, Kane, Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli give England genuine attacking threat. "We are expecting a very hard match".

The Three Lions were also handed the tricky proposition of a game with Belgium, who boast what is seen as a golden generation featuring the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, in Kaliningrad in their final Group G game.

"It's a hard group but we were expecting a hard draw because if you are in Pot 3, you are going to have some great footballing nations - like Belgium and England". Wahbi Khazri is perhaps their best-known player following two years at Sunderland, but it is a squad without star quality. They have talented players.

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.

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In 1978, Tunisia became the first African nation to ever win a match at a World Cup when beating Mexico 3-1 in Argentina. Breaking Panama down will be England's challenge but with Tunisia and Panama cast in the roles of minnows, England must perform as they did in their qualifying campaign, where they were efficient rather than stylish.

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has revealed his family will be supporting the opposition when he sends his team out against England at this summer's World Cup.

"We have a great chance", said the former global, who played for Tunisia between 1982-1994.

He added: "People are excited by some of the younger players and the approach we have taken and we have got to build on that".

Tunisia have never reached the knock-out stage of a World Cup, having failed in 1978, 1998, 2002 and 2006.


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