Roy Hodgson says that England should ‘fear no-one’ as the nation waits to hear who they will be paired with in the World Cup draw.
Gareth Southgate will find out on Friday who they will face when the eight groups are unveiled at a ceremony in Moscow.
Hodgson, who oversaw two ignominious finals campaigns – in Brazil in 2014 and at Euro 2016 in France – during his four-year tenure with England, sees a renewed belief in Southgate’s side and says they should go far in Russia next summer, irrespective of who they might face.
He told Sky Sports: “I believe that it does not matter what draw England get. What matters is that fact that England go there with a very good team, a team that I believe is capable of doing extremely well.
“You never know which team is going to prove the most difficult to face. It certainly does not go on FIFA rankings; there are teams in the top 10 I’d rather meet than some of those sides who are ranked say from 15-25. Games against those sides are not necessarily easier.
“I think Gareth and the English people will have confidence in the young players that have been brought in, getting more experience all the time alongside the more established players.
“I would summarise that whatever group England find themselves in, and whether people think that group is hard or easy, that does not matter.
“What will matter is that the players that Gareth chooses to confront those teams, I think they will be good enough to win against any of them. I don’t think England need fear anyone.