England face tricky World Cup group of Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica
England have been handed a tough looking draw for next year’s World Cup in Brazil, their Group D opponents Uruguay, Italy and Cost Rica.
It means that Roy Hodgson’s side will be forced to play in the tournament’s only 2am kick-off (UK time) when they face Italy on June 14. That match will be played in Manaus, the furthest north of the host cities.
Not only will that mean a 2,600-mile trip from England’s training base in Rio, but the tropical climate will be difficult. Temperatures can reach 30C in Manaus, with a 40% chance of thunderstorms in June and humidity often up to 80%.
The only game of the tournament will be between Brazil and Croatia, in Sao Paulo, on June 12.
GROUP A: Brazil, Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon
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GROUP B: Spain, Chile, Australia and Netherlands.
GROUP C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan.
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GROUP D: Uruguay, England, Costa Rica and Italy.
GROUP E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras.
GROUP F: Argentina, Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria.
GROUP G: Germany, Ghana, Portugal and USA.
GROUP H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea.