Belgium favourites in World Cup group, says England boss Gareth Southgate

FIFA President Gianni Infantino holds a news conference in Istanbul Turkey 23 2017. REUTERS  Osman Orsal

The Three Lions face Roberto Martinez's much-fancied Belgians in Kaliningrad in their final group game, and will begin their tournament against the Tunisians - just as they did at France 98.

But Southgate, recalling England's decades of disappointment on the global stage, was wary of Panama, telling the BBC: "We've been good at writing teams off and then getting beat".

"Tunisia and Panama, we have to do more research on".

Belgium are sure to provide a challenge for Southgate's side, but a top two finish - and progression to the knockout round - is undeniably considered well within England's means.

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"We've obviously not been following their games in our qualifying phase".

Their first fixture is against Tunisia on June 18, with Panama next and the mighty Belgians 10 days after the opener.

Despite being handed a relatively kind draw, Southgate says his men must do the background work to ensure they are prepared to deliver the goods when they come up against Tunisia and Panama.

"What's exciting for our team is, although we lack some big match experience and we don't have at the moment trophies and medals on the table for a lot of the lads, I think that's all ahead for them and what's possible is exciting".

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"There's a little bit of travelling (after the first game) and maybe gives us the opportunity for injuries if we get them to clear up". I'm really looking forward to getting on with it now.

England have never lost to Belgium at a major tournament and have only lost one of their 21 matches against them.

"For me personally, to play in a World Cup for my country was an incredible honour". Thankfully, another update from the fellas at Footy Headlines - a website which really knows its onions when it comes to leaked football kits - allows us to do precisely that.

"You can't ask for a better draw", Waddle told the BBC.

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