Walcott eagerly anticipates World Cup draw

Theo Walcott expects to be the butt of a few jokes at Arsenal's training ground when he and his team-mates sit down to watch the eagerly-anticipated World Cup draw.

Theo Walcott of Arsenal

England will discover who they will face in next year's tournament later this week at a ceremony in Salvador, north-east Brazil.

Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson has flown to Brazil for the draw, but Walcott and the rest of his Gunners team-mates will watch the event unfold in much colder climes.

Still, that has not dampened the Arsenal winger's interest in the draw one bit.

"Everyone will be glued to the telly at the training ground," Walcott told FA TV.

"As soon as we all come in from training we will all get the buzz then. I can't wait.

"I remember when the draw for the Euros took place. It was great to see all the banter between the different nationalities within the squad."

England were seeded for the previous World Cup, but this time around they do not have that luxury because they sit outside the top seven in the FIFA rankings.

That means they will face one of: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Spain, Germany, Belgium or Switzerland.

The prospect of facing such an opponent like Brazil, Spain or Germany would fill even the most optimistic England fan with dread, but Walcott is looking forward to testing himself on the biggest stage.

"You never forget a World Cup," Walcott said.

"I have never forgotten the experience in Germany, even though I didn't play. It was a great experience for me.

"It's one of those occasions where good players can become even better when they play against the best. I cannot wait."

The former Southampton man was the surprise inclusion in Sven-Goran Eriksson's party in 2006, but he was left out of Fabio Capello's 23-man squad four years later.

Walcott was a key cog in England's qualifying 2014 campaign, but he had to miss the final two qualifiers because of a stomach problem that also kept him out of the friendlies against Chile and Germany.

After enjoying a stunning debut against Montenegro, Spurs winger Andros Townsend has ramped up the competition for places on the flanks while Hodgson was impressed with Adam Lallana's contribution out wide against Chile and Germany.

Walcott hopes, therefore, that he can discover his form again so he is not the victim of another shock omission next summer.

"It's important for me to get back to sharpness and for me to how I was before," he said.

"With the World Cup being in Brazil, it would be a dream to be involved.

"Not many get chance to show what they can do at a World Cup. My first priority is to do well for Arsenal, then hopefully I will get picked for England and show people what I am made of."



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