England supervisor Gareth Southgate’s luck of the draw appeared to strike once more for this winter’s World Cup finals in Qatar.
The Three Lions have been positioned in Group B, the place they face an emotionally-charged closing match whoever they arrive up in opposition to – Wales, Scotland or war-torn Ukraine.
They tackle Iran on the opening day of the finals at 1pm GMT on November 21, in what might be a primary senior worldwide assembly between the international locations. They are going to then purpose to beat the US in a World Cup finals match on the third try, after a shock defeat in 1950 and a draw on the 2010 finals in South Africa.
Kick-off for that match is scheduled for 7pm GMT on November 25, whereas England’s third recreation will get below manner at 7pm GMT on November 29.
Ought to they get out of that comfortable-looking pool, they’ll face one in all hosts Qatar, Holland, Senegal or Ecuador within the final 16.
Southgate stated: “The benefit of being in pot one based mostly on our seeding is that a lot of the attracts we’ve had … you keep away from the largest groups.
“There’s clearly then some tough ties and that is a type of teams the place you’re trying and considering ‘a few of these are probably trickier than simply the rankings’. That’s at all times a hazard.
“It’s intriguing isn’t it, as a result of we’ve by no means performed Iran. After which the States … I’ve met (US coach) Gregg (Berhalter) so much not too long ago, so we’ve had some good chats and he’s bought them vastly improved.
“The third recreation goes to be a extremely emotional recreation whoever it’s. Everyone knows the place our ideas are with Ukraine and we’ve got to see whether or not they’re even capable of play or not.
“And naturally if it’s one of many British groups, we’ve been by way of that in tournaments not too long ago. So that they change into distinctive video games, actually. Kind is completely out of the window.”
England have by no means confronted one other British nation in a World Cup finals match however do have latest event expertise in opposition to Scotland and Wales.
They have been held to a goalless draw by Steve Clarke’s aspect in final summer season’s Euros at Wembley and beat Wales 2-1 at Euro 2016.
Taking part in on the event’s opening day means there might be simply eight days between the Premier League’s closing video games on November 13 earlier than its winter break and England’s first match on the World Cup.
Southgate didn’t see it as a serious hurdle, and added: “It could solely have been one or two days totally different if we had began later. We’ve identified that we’ve got to be very well organised on that.
“It would imply you might have just a few gamers dominated out of the primary recreation for that motive. However I feel they’re speaking a couple of barely elevated squad (as much as 26) anyway. We’ll have a staff!”
Hosts Qatar will face Ecuador on November 21 however will probably be Senegal and Holland who play the opening recreation earlier that day, in keeping with a match schedule launched by FIFA.
Different draw highlights embrace two former world champions, Spain and Germany, being paired collectively in Group E.
World champions France have been positioned alongside Denmark in Group D, whereas Group C additionally appears to be like robust, with Argentina, Mexico and Poland pooled collectively alongside Saudi Arabia.