Here we see Group C, comprising top seeds England, followed by CONCACAF'S USA, then Algeria of Africa, and finally Slovenia of UEFA.
England will be relatively pleased with what has already been pinpointed as one of the weaker draws. Certainly Algeria and Slovenia, both of whom qualified via a play-off, are seen as minnows. Meanwhile the USA, having qualified with room to spare from CONCACAF, still lack some of the allure offered by European or South American teams. The Three Lions, then, will be quietly confident of first place.
It can only be England. First out of the pot, they were expected to be first in the group regardless of who they faced. After a reasonably tough opener with the USA, fans will expect nothing less than six points against Algeria and Slovenia. A 100% record, then, is not out of the question.
Battle for Second
The USA will fancy their chances of qualification. Having avoided the likes of Portugal from the UEFA pot, the Americans are eager to go one further than in a difficult World Cup 2006. Meanwhile Slovenia have team spirit and a sense of the unknown about them, causing local fans to grow in optimism. Algerians never quit, meanwhile, and off the back of a solid defense may cause a surprise.
Slovenia are the lowest-ranked team in the group, weighing in at 33, and will be expected to battle with Algeria to avoided bottom spot. However, having only conceded four goals in qualifying, the Slovenians are not to be trifled with. Algeria, then, may wish to watch their step.
The Long Road Forward
It's not just the group itself that has England fans calling this a dream draw. Australia or Germany may be their next meeting for games that have plenty of grudges about them. France, Uruguay and the like may follow. England fans will dare to dream that this may be the repeat of 1966 they have hoped for.
What The Numbers Say
Powered by Castrol Predictor - crunching the numbers to find the strength of each team and the path they take to the final
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How important is the draw to a team's World Cup success? Find out what the experts say in the DEC/JAN issue of Goal.com Magazine.