The winners of the nine European groups qualify automatically for the World Cup with the eight best runners-up facing off in two-legged playoffs for the remaining four spots.
World champions Germany were put against the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino in the draw made in Saint Petersburg’s Konstantin palace.
The country recently broke into the Federation Internationale de Football Association World Rankings top ten for the first time, and will be looking to reach their first World Cup since 1958.
Martin O’Neill may not even still be in charge when the Boys in Green kick off their 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Nevertheless, it seems the pair will be in charge regardless of how the current campaign finishes and having been fairly unfortunate when Ireland were second seeds a couple of years ago they need the gods to be on their side this afternoon given that Ireland will this time be in Pot Four.
England played Scotland in a friendly last November, beating them 3-1 at Celtic Park on a Tuesday, with the match given the highest possible Uefa security rating.
After a gap of almost a decade and a half, England and Scotland have resumed hostilities twice in the last two years.
“For the mass media that’s the fixture that is going to capture the imagination”.
England again look well placed after being grouped with their oldest rivals Scotland in Group F, along with Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta.
“Austria and Wales and Serbia will be happy enough to be in the group”.
“I’m sure Gordon and his staff and players will all look forward to these two games”. We understand most teams can beat us but we can beat most teams as well. We fancy ourselves against anyone. “We’ve seen in the recent Euro 2016 qualification period that virtually all competitive matches are hard”.
Hodgson’s contract is due to expire after Euro 2016 in France next year – which England are well on course to qualify for – but the 67-year-old would be eager to stay on in the role.
All the home sides, and the Republic of Ireland, are in groups with six teams.
“I’m happy that we are not playing against Italy and France”, Germany manager Oliver Bierhoff told reporters. It’s never easy going to places like Moldova and Georgia and we know about the quality of Austria, Republic of Ireland and Serbia.
England face Scotland in World Cup qualifying while Wales were drawn alongside the Republic of Ireland.
Jordan’s most important goal for Scotland was the victor against Czechoslovakia in September 1973 that sent us to the ’74 World Cup, our first since Sweden in 1958.