England must not write off Tunisia & Panama, Southgate says

THE World Cup draw is done and many fans are anxious England may be Eden for an early exit.

They will then travel to Nizhny Novgorod on June 24 to take on Panama, with their final group fixture against Belgium on June 28 in Kaliningrad.

That could be seen as a match to decide the victor of the group, but, with England having finished second in a group containing USA, Slovenia and Algeria in 2010, before failing to get out of a group also boasting Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in 2014, Southgate feels a team that lost to Iceland in last 16 of the European Championship past year can ill-afford to look beyond any opponent. "We've got to be prepared for every game".

Gareth Southgate's side will face Tunisia in their opening game in Volgograd on June 18, a repeat of their first game in the 1998 World Cup in France, when goals from Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes gave England a 2-0 win in Marseille. It was a fantastic day and it's nice to be able to relive that.

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.

More news: More than 200 search for missing three-year-old North Carolina girl

Manchester United frontman Marcus Rashford reveals his excitement ahead of the draw for the group stages of next year's 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

However, the amount of time they need to keep themselves off the pitch amused will be wholly reliant on performances on the pitch and how far the team go in the tournament. Wahbi Khazri is perhaps their best-known player following two years at Sunderland, but it is a squad without star quality.

Chief News Reporter Bryan Swanson will be reporting from the Red Square in the build up to the World Cup draw, live on Sky Sports News from 8am.

"That's why it's so fantastic to be involved again. To play for my country in a World Cup is an incredible honour, to lead my country there as a manager is beyond that".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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