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News Worms


England's World Cup odds cut after draw

England's World Cup odds cut after draw

"It was a brilliant occasion so to be leading the country out into that same occasion, the first game of the World Cup, I am hugely proud".

England also face Panama in a potential banana skin, with Tunisia completing Group G. The last two tournaments - Costa Rica went through in a group with us and then Iceland knocked us out.

"There's a little bit of travelling (after the first game) and maybe gives us the opportunity for injuries if we get them to clear up".

The most hotly anticipated match in Group H will be England against Belgium, a game likely to feature a large number of Premier League players, from Kevin De Bruyne to Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, and they are coached by Roberto Martínez.

With Belgium able to call upon Premier League stars such as Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku at Manchester United, they are now ranked fifth in the world, 10 places higher than England.

England have not won a major worldwide football tournament since the late Bobby Moore lifted the 1966 World Cup on home soil.

Walker said: "It feels like club football now".

Despite being handed a relatively kind draw, Southgate says his men must do the background work to ensure they are prepared to deliver the goods when they come up against Tunisia and Panama.

I spent 21 years in the British game. Volgograd is 1,000 miles away, two and a half hours by plane, while the flights to Nizhny and Kaliningrad will both be under two hours. We know it's probably the best side Belgium has ever had, and we know the quality they have.

England were eliminated at the first knockout stage at Euro 2016, Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup, failed to progress from the group stage at the 2014 World Cup, and did not reach Euro 2008.

He said: "They are always a contender to do well at tournaments, but they do seem to lack something when it comes to the latter stages".

"Being involved in that game - the colour and the atmosphere around it - was one of the best days of my life", he said. "To play for my country in a World Cup is an incredible honour, to lead my country there as a manager is beyond that".

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