England get lucky but Gareth Southgate urges caution

Frederick Owens
December 3, 2017

Martinez's team will play their final Group G game against England in Kaliningrad on June 28.

It will be nearly exactly 20 years to the day when England played Tunisia in their opening fixture of the 1998 World Cup, with England winning 2-0 on June 15.

"I'm sure at some point we will probably do that, but I like the fact that different people have taken and had to take responsibility", he added.

Tunisia will be based just outside Moscow during the tournament, and their coach is also happy at avoiding playing until the fifth day of the competition.

Twitter user MisterChip has put together the above graph to calculate who every team will most likely face in the 2018 World Cup and it certainly makes for interesting reading.

"We have a great chance", said the former global, who played for Tunisia between 1982-1994.

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The middle game comes against debutants Panama - who provide another link to 1998, as they are managed by Hernan DarĂ­o Gomez, who coached Colombia against England in France.

"Through the qualifying campaign you don't think about days like today where everything hits home, but that's the beauty of the World Cup".

They beat Tunisia 1-0 but were eliminated after losing 2-0 to England in Lens, with Darren Anderton putting the English ahead before David Beckham scored a wonderful free-kick. We have come unstuck against supposedly lesser nations in the past and we have had really good results against teams that would be seeded higher than us.

Gareth Southgate's side have drawn Hazard's Belgium which will see Gary Cahill marking his Chelsea team-mate. We know it's probably the best side Belgium has ever had, and we know the quality they have.

With a squad largely made up of players from Tunisian clubs Esperance and Etoile du Sahel, they also lack top-level pedigree. But asked if he feared any of their players, he quipped: "The only risky player is Messi!"

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