England drawn against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in next summer's World Cup finals (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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England drawn against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in next summer's World Cup finals
5:18pm Friday 6th December 2013 in Sport
Costa Rica make up the fourth country in England's group, which was quickly given the title 'Group of Death'.
Roy Hodgson's men will open their Group D campaign in Manaus when they face Italy - for whom Osvaldo scored four goals in qualifying - 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 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.
Ramirez was also a regular in the Uruguay squad, but he was a sub in both play-off games against Jordan.
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.
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