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 By Chris Wright

Gary Lineker gives England tough opener in World Cup practice draw

Just a few days ahead of the real thing, a full rehearsal of the 2018 World Cup group-stage draw took place in Moscow with co-host Gary Lineker overseeing the dry run.

The former England striker shared a photo from the practice draw, which produced an intriguing (but entirely hypothetical) opening tie for the Three Lions.

England were drawn in Group A alongside Russia, ensuring a tricky first match against the host nation.

"First full rehearsal of the draw has thrown up this beauty of an opening game," Lineker quipped.

Just for the record, the real FIFA draw ceremony is set to kick off at 3:00pm (BST) on Friday at the State Kremlin Palace.

Chris covers the funny side of the game for ESPN FC in the Toe Poke blog.

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