England draw Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in 2018 World Cup group

• Gareth Southgate’s side avoid likes of France, Argentina and Brazil
• Holders Germany in same group as Mexico, Sweden and Costa Rica

England’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup were handed a boost after they were assigned a relatively easy-looking group for next summer’s finals.

Gareth Southgate’s men will face Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G. Belgium should provide a stern test given the strength of their squad, which boasts the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Thiabut Courtois, but given England could have been drawn in the same group as France, Argentina, Brazil or Germany, Southgate and his players will be relatively pleased. Panama are competing at their first World Cup while Tunisia have not featured at a finals since 2006.

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