England get Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G.
By Sam Cooper
That brings us to an end of the draw and I quietly confident with that. Belgium will be tough but Southgate will be confident they can at least get second. Can it be June already?
Here’s the draw in full
So England’s Group G consists of Belgium, Panama and Tunisia. It may be the English optimism that naturally comes out before a major tournament but I think that could have been a lot worse. Given the Belgium game will be England’s last of the group, that may well be the decider for who tops the group.
The final team out are Japan and they complete Group H.
Korea Republic complete Group F
1000-1 odds Panama go into England’s group G. Lads, I think it’s coming home.
Nigeria now and they go into Group D.
It’s the men down under now and they enter group C. Tough one that.
Morocco are into Group B
Serbia have to enter into Group E due to other European teams.
Saudi Arabia are the first team out and they complete Group A. In fact they will be the opening game of the tournament against Russia.
Onto the final pot…
Senegal complete pot 3 as they go into Group H with Poland and Colombia.
In fact they will be England’s opening game, marked as winnable for me.
England’s group now and it is Tunisia
Sweden join Germany and Mexico in Group F.
Costa Rica enter into Group E
They will open their World Cup against Messi’s Argentina.
England’s nemesis Iceland are into Group D
Iran instead go into Group B
Denmark, drawn next, skip into Group C as Group B already has two European teams (Portugal and Spain)
So England can’t get another European team in this pot so I think Senegal is the most dangerous looking.
On to Pot 3 now and Egypt enter Group A with Russia and Uruguay.
Just a note, Belgium – England will be the last game of the group. Very much squeaky-bum time.
Colombia complete pot 2 as they enter Group H with Poland.
I am having vivid flashbacks of Hazard, please help us.
England join Group G with Belgium.
So England have a choice of Belgium or Poland.
Germany’s group now and it’s Mexico!
Switzerland join Brazil meaning England will face either Germany, Belgium or Poland.
Here comes Croatia into Argentina’s Group D
Peru are into Group C with France.
Group B quickly turning into a group of death. Portugal will face Spain in their opening game.
Next ball out is Spain into Portugal’s group. Tasty.
They means Russia – Uruguay will be the last game of that group.
Uruguay are first out and they’re into Group A with Russia.
Pot 1 is over and now it gets interesting. England’s pot remember.
The Russian FA Vice-President span the ball despite there being only one left in the bowl. Lovely stuff.
Belgium are the penultimate ball out as they enter Group G meaning Poland are into Group H.
Germany, Belgium and Poland are left and it’s Germany who are next out. They enter Group F
Brazil are next out and into Group E
Argentina into Group D. Diego Maradona nods in approvement.
France are into Group C, I have a sneaky feeling England will go into this group.
They go into Group B
Now out comes Portugal
No surprise as the first ball drawn is Russia who go into Group A
Gary has explained the rules, the balls are about to be drawn
Now I don’t want to accuse them of wrongdoing but Russia’s ball is literally red.
As such a staunch critic of FIFA, Lineker’s involvement in this is a bit odd.
Big Gaz emerges
Diego Maradona has appeared and he is wearing a yellow bow tie. Yes Diego, yes.
Pre-draw quiz question for you: Which two players topped the FIFA 2014 World Cup European Qualification Goalscorers Table?
It’s a testament to how much we all love football that we put up with things like that but we’re now treated to a montage of World Cups past.
It’s finally over.
For the past two minutes, a woman in a red dress has twirled her way back and forth across the stage.
Meanwhile the Spanish federation president has literally fallen asleep.
Cuts to the faces in the crowd and Pele looks like he may be the most bored man on the planet.
My prediction of the first ball being drawn at 20 past may have been optimistic as there are no signs of the pots. Instead we have a group of Russian folk dancers.
Miroslav Klose is now on stage, perhaps the definition of a World Cup scorer.
Time for a musical preview which seems to be increasingly common in football events (remember when the Black Eyed Peas delayed the Champions League final, forever branded enemies of football)
Here’s the pots.
The draw is a little confusing this year as no group can have a group with two teams from the same confederation. The exception to this rule is Europe where you can have up to two.
I just saw Peter Schmeichel help Lothar Matthäus out of a minibus which is a sentence I never thought I’d write.
If you fancy watching along live, the draw is on BBC Two.
You can expect the draw to be a rather lengthy affair given FIFA’s tendency to pad them out. So while the start time is supposedly set at 3 o’clock, don’t be surprised if the first ball isn’t drawn until about 20 past.
Fresh from his 57th birthday, Gary Lineker will be hosting the draw which makes place in Moscow.
England are in pot two.
For those unfamiliar with how it all works, there are four pots of eight teams sorted according to their FIFA ranking. Pot 1 contains hosts Russia along with the top rated seven teams and pot two the next seven etc. A ball will be drawn from each pot and that will decide the groups. There are eight groups in total.
So here we are. After a two year qualifying process, 32 teams now wait for their fate as men in expensive suits draw little balls out of pots. These balls of course will decide the groups for next year’s World Cup.