Fates and Diego Maradona hand England a World Cup group of hope | Barney Ronay
Tunisia and Panama give Gareth Southgate’s males a winnable begin within the World Cup earlier than they face Belgium’s galaxy of Premier League stars
Welcome, as soon as once more, to the world. The balls have been cracked, the groups grouped off, the dates and venues parcelled out. After a shiny, agreeably fast-paced draw ceremony on the lighted stage of the Kremlin, Russia 2018 is go, the 21st Fifa World Cup formally a lockdown.
The draw itself was a grand affair, with luminaries from Diego Maradona to Gordon Banks ranged behind their gleaming punch bowls. From the opening moments there was a acquainted rush of intrigue as Group B threw up Portugal towards Spain in Sochi, an authentically mouthwatering World Cup prospect.