By 90Min
November 16, 2017

Just a fortnight separates England from finding out which nations are going to send them crashing ungracefully out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

With Peru becoming the 32nd of 32 teams to book their place in next summer's tournament on Wednesday night, FIFA have released the pots that they'll draw their group stage matchups from on 1st December. 

England will avoid Spain, Peru, Switzerland, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Croatia by virtue of being in Pot 2 alongside them, but there are 24 other teams up for grabs. Bearing in mind that only two UEFA teams can be in the same group - while no other federation can have more than one representative - how bad could it get for England?

In short...quite. They'll have to face either one of the teams ranked 1-7 in FIFA's world rankings or hosts Russia, who they couldn't beat last summer in France and who'll be a more formidable prospect in their own massive, sprawling backyard. Their world ranking of 65 is deceptive; a lack of competitive games since the Euros has seen them fall away below their ability level. 

It's tricky to pick a most formidable team from the world's best, but given the lack of distinction between the top sides, England's glacial defence and the strength in depth of European teams sitting in the lower seeds, Argentina might just be the worst draw for Gareth Southgate's men. 

Pot 3, meanwhile, is a collection of wildcards. Teams like Costa Rica and Iran are unlikely to pose a serious challenge to any teams in the pots ahead of them, but Denmark, Senegal and Egypt all possess players who can crack open a fragile England side in a blink. 

Fresh off the back of tearing the Republic of Ireland into tiny little pieces and scattering them to the wind like so many shamrocks, Christian Eriksen and Denmark get the nod here. There's always Iceland though...

Pot 4 contains a smattering of outsiders from the further corners of the footballing world - hi there, Australia! This isn't cricket! What are you doing here?! - But there are still some teams who can cause trouble...as Argentina well know. 

Yes, that's right. It's Nigeria time. Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa, Mikel John Obi...there's the bones of a real team here and aside from perhaps Serbia, they're the clear standouts in Pot 4. 

So there it is. 

The worst group England could possibly face at the 2018 World Cup in Russia: Argentina, England, Denmark, Nigeria. 


The best group England could possibly face at the 2018 World Cup in Russia: Poland, England, Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia. 


See you in Russia...

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