England discover their group opponents for Russia

   The FA plan to stand by Southgate's contract regardless of England's showing at the World Cup

England have been grouped with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in Group G for next summer's World Cup following today's draw.

England have a tough test against a Belgium side which provides some of the Premier League's best players, including Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Toby Alderweireld.

Tunisia and England will meet in their opening game in Volgograd on June 18 - a repeat of the 1998 World Cup group stage, when England won 2-0 in their first match in Marseille. "But it's how we cope with expectation, how we can be a balanced team, how we enjoy the responsibility in a World Cup".

"Belgium are ranked fifth in the world (rankings) - and are one of the great nations in the world, not only in Europe".

With a squad largely made up of players from Tunisian clubs Esperance and Etoile du Sahel, they also lack top-level pedigree. "When we have just come from two tournaments where Costa Rica knocked us out, and then Iceland, it would be folly for us not to be serious about our preparation and make sure our mentality is right", he said.

"Vertonghen should be happy he can play against England", one fan wrote. They are pushing the likes of Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson.

Southgate is likely to be bold and give youth a chance, but the games against Tunisia and Panama will pose different challenges than the more obvious test that Belgium will pose and sometimes, experience is a greater commodity than youthful exuberance against dogged, well-organised opponents.

Will England get a harder or easier Group than the predicted draw?

"Dele Alli and Harry Kane are exceptional players".

Question marks remain over England's ability to dictate a game from midfield and keep possession against the stronger teams but nobody is realistically expecting them to win the competition. "We want to go to the World Cup to enjoy our football and to enjoy the responsibility of having such a strong generation".