World Cup 2014 draw: England to face Italy and Uruguay
World Cup 2014 draw: England will take on Italy in their opening game after being placed a difficult-looking Group D
England will take on Italy in their opening World Cup 2014 game after Roy Hodgson’s men were placed a difficult-looking group for next summer’s tournament in Brazil.
The Three Lions will also face Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D.
England will open their World Cup campaign against Italy on 15 June 2014 at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus.
Anyone who wants to know how tough it’s going to be, just look back to the Euros when we played Italy
They will then travel to Sao Paulo to take on Uruguay on 19 June, before playing Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on 24 June.
“It’s a tough group, there’s no doubt about that,” said England manager Roy Hodgson. “In Italy and Uruguay it’s almost as though we have got two number one seeds in our group.
“We know how good Italy are because we lost to them in the quarter-finals at the Euros. The game is going to be tough from a climate point of view for both teams. We’re both in the same boat.
“There were not going to be many scenarios where we were going to be jumping for joy. It [the draw] doesn’t surprise us. I suppose one positive is that we have only got one long trip then the other two are in the same neck of the woods.”
Former England striker Alan Shearer added: “That is a tough group.
“Anyone who wants to know how tough it’s going to be just look back to the Euros when we played Italy. It’s a tough, tough group.
“Also we didn’t want to play in one of the hottest places where there is 99 per cent humidity.”
Elsewhere, hosts Brazil will open the tournament against Croatia in Sao Paolo on 12 June after also being drawn in Group A with Mexico and Cameroon.
Defending world champions Spain will kick off their Group B campaign against the Netherlands in Salvador on 13 June in a repeat of the bad-tempered 2010 final.