World Cup draw: England face Belgium in Russia 2018
Portugal drawn with Spain; holders Germany grouped with Sweden; Australia join France in Group C
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 02/12/17 7:30am
England have been drawn with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in Group G of the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
England will open their campaign against Tunisia on Monday, 18 June in Volgograd at 7pm UK time. The two sides met in the 1998 World Cup group stage in France, with goals from Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes giving England a 2-0 win in Marseille.
Gareth Southgate's side then travel to Nizhny where they will face Panama on Sunday, 24 June at 1pm UK time.
Their final group game will be against Belgium in Kaliningrad on Thursday, 28 June at 7pm kick-off UK time.
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England have never lost to Belgium at a major tournament and have only lost one of their 21 matches against them.
Southgate is excited about the prospects the draw has thrown up for his side, but accepts he will have work to do on two of their opponents.
He told Sky Sports News: "It's a really exciting draw that, for everybody. We know it's probably the best side Belgium has ever had and we know the quality they have.
"They're the top seeds in the group, but a really good challenge for us.
"Tunisia and Panama, we have to do more research on. We've obviously not been following their games in our qualifying phase.
"Although we lack some big match experience and we don't have at the moment trophies and medals on the table for a lot of the lads, I think that's all ahead for them and that's exciting."
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Elsewhere in the draw, Spain were placed in the same group as Portugal, alongside Morocco and Iran, while five-time winners Brazil have to negotiate a group including Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
Holders Germany will face Mexico, Sweden and South Korea as they bid to become the first side retain the trophy since Brazil in 1962.
Argentina have been paired with debutants Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D.
Russia play Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the tournament in Moscow on 14 June, with Egypt and Uruguay making up the other teams in Group A.
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World Cup groups:
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
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