The FIFA World Cup starts on Thursday and is the most anticipated sporting event this summer after the football season came to a close a month ago. There are 14 Manchester United players heading to Brazil this summer to put the horror of last season behind then, getting themselves ready for the new season under a new manager at the Old Trafford club. The players representing United this summer are; Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck (England), David De Gea and Juan Mata (Spain), Adnan Januzaj and Marouane Fellaini (Belgium), Patrice Evra (France), Javier Hernandez (Mexico), Antonio Valencia (Ecuador), Robin van Persie (Netherlands), Shinji Kagawa (Japan) and Nani (Portugal). Each of England’s matches and venues have been compiled by Hertz in the handy infographic at the bottom of this article.
Obviously we will be looking for England to do their best in Brazil, but after a 3-0 victory against Peru at Wembley before the squad left for warm-weather training and acclimatising in Miami, two draws against Ecuador (2-2) and Honduras (0-0) would suggest there are a few problems Roy Hodgson and his squad need to perfect before they take on Italy in their first World Cup match in Brazil this coming Saturday.
The group England were drawn in will be tough for them as they face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, so even coming second in the group could be tough, it all depends on how good their competition is in the matches they play.
England vs Italy – Saturday 14th June – Arena da Amazonia, Manaus
Italy have always been a tough team for England to get the better of. Two years ago in the European Championships, England pushed Italy to penalties after a 0-0 draw in the quarter-final of the competition. Italy won 4-2 after both Ashley Young and Ashley Cole missed their penalties. This summer, Italy still have the likes of Andrea Pirlo in their side, who I feel will be their star player in the tournament. Add Mario Balotelli and Ciro Immobile to their strike force and Daniele de Rossi’s composed ability to play the game, and England have problems in their first match, that is before we have even taken into account the weather and temperature in the Amazon area of Brazil, which will generate some tough conditions for both sides.
England vs Uruguay – Thursday 19th June – Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo
Uruguay have plenty of power in they squad this summer. Luis Suarez, who recently had a knee operation is still a doubt for the World Cup this summer, despite the fact that his coaches say he has resumed training. The likes of Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlán also on the attack could cause England problems as could their defence of Diego Lugano and Diego Godín, who have been on form this season. This could be another tough match for England. The weather and temperature are a little bit more manageable in São Paulo, with the average temperature in June at around 22°C, which will be easier to handle, but with Uruguay able to play in hotter conditions, this is where England could come unstuck.
England vs Costa Rica – Tuesday 24th June – Estadio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte
Costa Roca has got to be the easiest of England’s three opponents in Brazil this summer, but after seeing them draw with Ecuador and Honduras in Miami, it is now in the back of my mind whether Costa Rica could do the same to England. Personally I don’t expect England to make it out of the group into the knockout stages of the tournament, but if they did, I would be happy as it would give them the belief to continue their run in the tournament. The likes of Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz will be players England need to watch, as with Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League, Campbell looked a lively player.
Are you heading to Brazil to support England, or any other team?
If you are heading to Brazil to support England or any other team with a view to following them on their World Cup journey, you may need a rental car to help you on your way. The info graphic below which was produced by Hertz, shows you the location of Hertz’s outlets in every host city that England could potentially play. You will be able to find out more information by looking at their website.
By Paul Bienkowski
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