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Russia 2018 World Cup Draw in full | Nigeria and Argentina meet again

Russia 2018 World Cup Draw in full | Nigeria and Argentina meet again

Friday’s draw for World Cup 2018 in Russia saw defending champions Germany selected in Group F alongside Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.

The game of the group stage is Spain against Portugal. At the last World Cup, Spain were very poor. Portugal will be on a high having won Euro 2016.

Brazil were drawn alongside Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E.

The draw in full is:

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
Mexico
Sweden
South Korea

Group G
Belgium
Panama
Tunisia
England

Group H
Poland
Senegal
Colombia
Japan

Group A is the weakest group. Russia are the second-weakest team from pot one (even accounting for home advantage), Uruguay are the second-weakest from pot two, Egypt the weakest from pot three and Saudi Arabia the weakest from pot four.

– Group B looks like the strongest group. It is particularly tough on top seeds Portugal, who couldn’t have done much worse from being top seeded. The other teams in with them are Spain (highest ranked in pot two, Iran (second-highest ranked in pot three) and Morocco (second-highest ranked in pot four).

The Three Lions have met Tunisia twice before, drawing a friendly in 1990 and beating them at the 1998 World Cup in France, while England have never met Panama.

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez: “I lived for 21 years in England so it is very special. It’s the World Cup, we have a challenging draw, lots of travelling.

“We are looking forward to it. We have a really good group of players, 25 players are now in the British game so are very well known. They have important roles in important teams and they enjoy playing for their country.”

England manager Gareth Southgate: “Remembering the Tunisia game in 1998, it was the first thing that went through my mind. It was a fantastic day and it’s nice to be able to relive that.

“We haven’t done as much preparing on the African teams yet so now that’s what we can focus in on.”

On Panama: ” We’ve been good at writing teams off and then getting beat. We’ve got to be prepared for every game.”

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