Belgium favourites in World Cup group, says England boss Gareth Southgate

FA chief executive Martin Glenn has given Southgate a vote of confidence ahead of next year's World Cup

FA chief executive Martin Glenn has given Southgate a vote of confidence ahead of next year's World Cup

But they begin nearly 2,000 kilometres away against Tunisia in Volgograd - in a stadium built on one of the main sites of the Battle of Stalingrad, one of the bloodiest episodes of the Second World War - on Monday, June 18. - Beckham's free-kick - Meanwhile, Panama's first ever match at a World Cup finals will come against Belgium in Sochi, also on June 18.

"That is the most important thing for us". The World Cup will begin on June 14, 2018, and end on July 15, 2018. "That needs a bit of working out now".

However, the amount of time they need to keep themselves off the pitch amused will be wholly reliant on performances on the pitch and how far the team go in the tournament.

Ahead of today's draw, he spoke about expectations around his side going into next summer.

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When asked about England's chances of winning the tournament, World Cup victor Gordon Banks said: "If they start straightaway, getting some results, playing pretty well, then they'll stand a chance".

Belgium have beaten England only once in 21 meetings - back in 1936 - but the side that boasts Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku is a fearsome beast.

If England make it into the last-16 they will play the team which finishes first or second in Group H: Poland, Colombia, Senegal or Japan.

England secured their spot in Russian Federation after topping their qualifying group in a relatively easy run of games and Gareth Southgate will be hoping for another simple route to the Luzhniki Stadium for the World Cup final. 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.

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Southgate believes Belgium - managed by Roberto Martinez with Englishman Graeme Jones as his assistant - are among the favourites to win the trophy.

"Yes, a couple of them had a taste of it at the last tournament, but many of them will not feel that weight and burden that a lot of the players have carried over a good few tournaments over the years".

"And I think Gareth now has a few players pushing for places, which is good in a World Cup year".

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