Hard World Cup draw for Roy Hodgson’s England

England manager Roy Hodgson
England manager Roy Hodgson
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England have been drawn to play Italy, Costa Rica and Uruguay in the 2014 World Cup.

Roy Hodgson’s men will open their Group D campaign in Manaus when they face Italy on Saturday, June 14.

They must then head to Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte for their meetings with Uruguay and Costa Rica on June 19 and 24 respectively.

England avoided becoming the European team placed in a special pot, who had to be drawn against a South American top seed.

However they ended up in the same group as Italy, who came out of the special pot. which meant the draw could hardly have been more difficult.

It means Roy Hodgson’s team must face the side that knocked England out of Euro 2012 in Kiev, before coming face-to-face with a Uruguay team containing Luis Suarez and PSG star forward Edinson Cavani.

Even the group minnows, Costa Rica, will not be beaten easily given the central American country have shock potential, as they proved by beating Scotland at the 1990 tournament.

The one crumb of comfort is that England face a European side in such a remote and unusual location, 1,777 miles from where they intend to stay.

Sao Paolo and Belo Horizonte are much more accessible from Rio.

It is just over 200 miles to Sao Paolo and less than 300 to Belo Horizonte.

However, that place has unhappy memories for England as the venue where they lost to the United States in one of the biggest World Cup shocks of all time in 1950.

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