England will face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D at next summer's World Cup following Friday's draw in Bahia. A tough group for Roy Hodgsons men in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. With two tough teams in Italy and Uruguay and a South American Team wanting to prove in Costa Rica the Englishmen have it tough and with a big travel to their first group game it doesn't get much harder than this.
So what do we know about the 3 teams in Group D. Here is the lowdown on the England opponents.
Qualified by finishing top of European Group B, Won the World Cup in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006, Top Players: Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli, Coach: Cesare Prandelli, England’s Match record against Italy: P24 W8 D7 L9, Last match: Italy 1-2 England in Berne in 2012.<.p>
Italy topped Group B of the UEFA 2014 World Cup qualifiers, winning 22 points from a possible 30 points. The Italians remained unbeaten throughout qualifying, winning six and drawing four. This was the fourth time in the last five World Cup qualifying campaigns that Italy have gone unbeaten (qualifiers for 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014). The only one of these campaigns that they lost a qualifier (2006), they won.
Qualified by beating Jordan in an Intercontinental play-off (5-0 away; 0-0 at home), Won the World Cup in 1930 (as hosts) and 1950, Top Players: Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Lugano, Coach: Oscar Tabarez, England’s record against Uruguay: P10 W3 D3 L4, Last match: England 2-1 Uruguay at Anfield in 2006
Uruguay beat Jordan 5-0 on aggregate in a play-off to reach Brazil 2014 – they had to go this route after finishing 5th in CONMEBOL qualification. Luis Suárez was top-scorer in CONMEBOL qualification having scored 11 goals from 14 appearances (excluding play-offs). Uruguay lost just one of their last seven World Cup qualification matches (W5 D1, including play-offs). In CONMEBOL qualification, only Paraguay (72.7%) had a poorer pass accuracy rate than Uruguay (73.4%).
Qualified by finishing second behind USA in the CONCACAF final round, Reached the Round of 16 at the 1990 World Cup, losing to Czechoslovakia, Top Players: Bryan Ruiz, Cristian Bolanos and Keilor Navas, Coach: Jorge Luis Pinto, England have never played them at senior level.
Costa Rica entered the CONCACAF qualification process in the third of four rounds. They progressed from the third round and in the final round of qualification finished in second; the top three automatically qualify. Costa Rica lost four games across the 16 matches they were involved in during the qualification process. Álvaro Saborío scored the most goals for Costa Rica during qualification (8).
Full Fixture list:
|14th June 2014||Uruguay v Costa Rica|
|15th June 2014||England v Italy|
|19th June 2014||Uruguay v England|
|20th June 2014||Italy v Costa Rica|
|24th June 2014||Italy v Uruguay|
|24th June 2014||Costa Rica v England|
We will keep you posted nearer to the time on all goings on with the 2014 world cup so check us out for all England related football news.
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