Jamie Carragher.

Jamie Carragher has absolutely nailed his assessment of England's World Cup draw

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Ahead of Friday's World Cup Finals draw, England fans were hoping to not be involved in another 'Group of death': Like they were in 2014.

And fortunately they weren't. In fact, their draw was almost perfect.

Going into the draw in Pot 2, England were always going to face one of the world's best in the group stages.

Luckily, they managed to avoid some of the global powerhouses in Brazil and Germany: instead drawing Belgium, which is arguably slightly easier.

There were also some dangerous names in both Pot 3 and Pot 4, but England were again handed good draws on paper, with Panama and Tunisia rounding off Group G.

Elsewhere, one of the ties of the round will undoubtedly be between Portugal and Spain, who were drawn together in Group B.

Although there is no clear 'Group of death', Argentina face a few tough tests to emerge from Group D, as they were drawn alongside the surprise package of Euro 2016 in Iceland, as well as with Croatia and Nigeria.


Most Englishmen would be happy with their country's draw, but not Carragher.

The former Liverpool defender made a fantastic point that whilst the draw was favourable to England, expectations have now risen.

This rise in expectation could prove to be England's downfall, as it has been in the past, with the Three Lions often being underwhelming in major finals.

In his column for the Telegraph, Carragher wrote: "This was a great draw for England. It could not have been any better had (Gareth) Southgate gone on stage and picked out the names.

Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo (C)saves a

"It is not only the first stage that presents an opportunity for progress, but beyond that the two qualifiers from England’s group meet those from one of the weakest groups in the competition, where Poland are top seeds.

"That offers a realistic path to the latter stages, but adds to the pressure on the England players. Herein lies our biggest concern.

"On those occasions our players are expected to win, they often produce their most disappointing performances. In recent major tournaments they have failed to beat Algeria and Costa Rica, and of course they lost to Iceland at the European Championships.

"We must be delighted to be drawn with Tunisia and Panama, but there can be no country more wary of (or less justified in demonstrating) complacency than England.

"Before the draw, I would have argued the greatest threat to reaching the quarter-finals is a general lack of quality in the squad compared to the strongest nations.

"Now, months before our first game, the biggest obstacle I see to England reaching the last eight is a familiar one. It is psychological."

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