Southgate waits for World Cup draw
THE World Cup draw takes place in Moscow at 3pm on Friday with England in the second pot of seeds and generally available at 20-1 to lift the trophy next summer.
There are various restrictions on the draw with no more than two European teams allowed in any group, while other regions will be split up completely which makes it more likely that England will draw South American giants Brazil or Argentina from the top set of seeds.
England were handed a tough draw in 2012 alongside Uruguay, Italy and eventual quarter-finalists Costa Rica but the way the seedings have worked out this time it is unlikely to throw up a group of death scenario.
Gareth Southgate’s nightmare section would possibly involve Brazil, Denmark and Nigeria or Germany, Egypt and Japan but there is no set of circumstances which could throw up the potential for the Three Lions to be outsiders to reach the last 16.
A best outcome for England would see them tackle something like Poland, Tunisia and Panama.
Southgate’s side would be group favourites if pitted against hosts Russia and Poland and possibly surprise European champions Portugal but the other five nations – Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, France and holders Germany – would make for a tougher path to the knockouts.
The competition starts on June 14 with the final on July 15 and one particular slot in Group B would be seen as ideal in terms of travelling with one game in Moscow, another in St Petersburg and a trip to Kaliningrad.
World Cup seedings – pot one: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France; pot two: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia; pot three: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran; pot four: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia