England should succeed after kind Tunisia group

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03 December, 2017

Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul was delighted to be drawn in the same group as England for the 2018 World Cup, insisting that the two teams will fight it out for second place behind Belgium.

"It may be the first time they have qualified for the World Cup but we have to pay them attention as well".

The Three Lions face Roberto Martinez's much-fancied Belgians in Kaliningrad in their final group game, and will begin their tournament against the Tunisians - just as they did at France 98.

The majority of Belgium's "golden generation" ply their trade in England's top flight, with the team led by Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.

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"Tunisia takes me back to Marseille", the 47-year-old said, "one of the best days of my life, playing my first game in the World Cup finals for England, an incredible atmosphere and I remember the colour of it, the Beatles music playing before the game". "But it's how we cope with expectation, how we can be a balanced team, how we enjoy the responsibility in a World Cup". "We played Wales and they have more or the less the same style".

Spurs and England frontman Harry Kane also tweeted his reaction to the draw, saying: "Belgium, Tunisia and Panama!" Southgate's under-stated approach will help, however, with the former England midfielder not prone to over-hyping his team.

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.

"We've obviously not been following their games in our qualifying phase". 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. The draw has been made and they can see the teams they are up against, where the games are situated and they have to travel to.

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