England End Up In The Nightmare World Cup Group
The World Cup draw has been completed, and England’s World Cup group has been decided. England fans will have reason to be concerned. Group D epitomises the nightmare scenario. Italy, Uruguay, Costa Rica and England. The first two teams will give Roy Hodgson some major headaches.
The first game for the English national side will take place in Manaus, and the conditions in this Amazonian city will not be favourable. Then you take into account the big pitches the Brazilians play on, and it will mean fitness and recovery levels will be put to serious test. Anyone planning on watching the game will probably need to take the next day off. England versus Italy will kick off at 02:00 BST on 15 June.
Hodgson will then prepare his men for the game against Uruguay on 19 June, and then they are set to play Costa Rica on 24 June. The one saving grace for England is their last game which should be an easy three points. However, their first two games will be make or break.
England won the World Cup the last time they faced Uruguay in a major tournament
Roy Hodgson will be up against it, England’s World Cup group is bad enough but it gets worse. The entire squad will be travelling the best part of 2,000 miles from their base in Rio de Janeiro, to Manaus for their first game. Which should be noted, is in the Amazon rainforest. This is the very location that most European teams wanted to avoid, due to the high temperatures and even higher humidity.
While Roy Hodgson has taken some relief from the fact that his side will be playing another European side. The mayor of Manaus, Arthur Virgilio, has made it very clear that England will not be welcome in the city, due to his comments about the city needing to be avoided.
The one problem for England is that Italy do have experience of playing in northern Brazil. This is obviously in addition to the fact that Italy beat England in the recent European Championship. Tactically Italy will play very defensively, and even many months before the game takes place it can be assumed that England players will have to work overtime to break down the Italian defense.
If Italy weren’t bad enough, the second game takes place against Uruguay. Who will have the on fire Luis Suarez leading the attack. His form has been other worldly, and he is a player that can single handedly win any game. Costa Rica should be outclassed by England, but then football does have the scope to shock. Which is why England’s World Cup group is a dangerous place to be.
So the facts are these, England have never beaten Italy or Uruguay at a major tournament. And they have never played Costa Rica. The one hopeful sign is that the last time England faced Uruguay in a World Cup they went on to win it. This is the thought England and their fans should keep at the forefront of their minds.