While every team at the World Cup finals deserves to be there, England surely came away one of the happier nations on Friday after the 2018 World Cup draw.
England were placed in Group G alongside Belgium, Panama and Tunisia, the latter two nations that England – at least on paper – will be expected to beat.
Speaking after the draw, Gareth Southgate told reporters in Moscow that although the core of the current England squad are young, there is always “big pressure” put on the Three Lions by England fans.
“I think with England there is always big pressure, like all of the big football countries,” Southgate said. “Our supporters have high expectations. With this team it’s a little bit different, we’re quite a young team, (we) don’t have huge experience with tournament football, but it’s a team with a lot of potential and a team that we think will improve in the next few years.”
If fit, England could have one of the younger average ages across the squad, with 20-year-old Marcus Rashford, 21-year-old Dele Alli, 22-year-old Raheem Sterling, 23-year-old Eric Dier, 23-year-old John Stones, 23-year-old Jordan Pickford and 24-year-old Harry Kane all likely to play a major role next June/July.
Hear what Southgate had to say after the draw.