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Spain coach Lopetegui wary of World Cup rivals

06 December 2017

"Croatia has an excellent midfield, Nigeria is unpredictable and has some very fast players, and Iceland comes in with little pressure", Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said.

Mexico also have a young Hirving Lozano, who has lit up the Eredivisie and is seen as one of the most promising young players across their previous World Cup campaigns, Mexico have played world class sides like France and Brazil in the group stages and managed to obtain at least a draw. Egypt and Uruguay are also in Group A.

The Portuguese boss is cautious of Morocco and Iran despite believing that his side and Spain will be favourites in their 2018 World Cup groupSantos added: "Morocco have scored goals and conceded none. This time we want to lead 5-0 to be sure!" That means the Brazilians won't play any games in its base city of Sochi.

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England, the home of football that have not won the World Cup since 1966, will face European front-runners Belgium, first-timers Panama and Tunisia in Group G.

"We've been good at writing off teams and then getting beaten by them", said England coach Gareth Southgate, who is preparing for his first tournament leading the team.

Korea made its World Cup debut in Switzerland in 1954. They have interesting players and are well coached. They have proven to be able to beat top class sides in major tournaments and can easily do that against Germany this summer. "That brings that competitive level". His club-mate, Robert Lewandowski will be hoping to fire Poland into the knockout stages, even if it looks unlikely he restricts their success in the Bundesliga, Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa will be hoping he can help Japan find success in this group, whilst Senegal will be heavily reliant on Liverpool's Sadio Mane if they're to have any success in Group H. Putin urged fans to visit and enjoy his "big and multi-faceted" country, a rallying cry which follows concerns about racism and hooliganism. "This is a World Cup".

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The Olympic doping scandal surrounding Russian Federation hung over the final countdown to the draw.

While nothing can be taken for granted at the World Cup, four-time world champions and current FIFA Confederations Cup holders Germany are widely expected to top this group.

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Spain coach Lopetegui wary of World Cup rivals