01-Dec-2017 21:17:04 | Guardian
Tunisia and Panama give Gareth Southgate’s men a winnable start in the World Cup before they face Belgium’s galaxy of Premier League stars
Welcome, once again, to the world. The balls have been cracked, the teams grouped off, the dates and venues parcelled out. After a glossy, agreeably fast-paced draw ceremony on the lighted stage of the Kremlin, Russia 2018 is go, the 21st Fifa World Cup officially 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 familiar rush of intrigue as Group B threw up Portugal against Spain in Sochi, an authentically mouthwatering World Cup prospect.
Related: World Cup fixtures: the full schedule for Russia 2018
Related: Russia 2018: a guide to the cities and stadiums for England’s group games