World Cup - England face Group of Death

England will face Italy in their opening match of the 2014 World Cup after being drawn into one of the tournament's three Groups of Death.

England's opening Group D match will be against the 2006 champions in the jungle city of Manaus at 2am British time on Saturday, June 14, at high humidity in the heart of the Amazon - a nightmare for both players and fans, particularly with a hot reception in store for the English following comments by manager Roy Hodgson about hoping to avoid the venue.

England then face Uruguay in Sao Paulo before finishing up against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on June 19.

"It's a tough group," said England manager Roy Hodgson. "We know how good Italy are having lost to them at the Euros.

"There were a lot more scenarios were you were thinking this was going to be tough for us. We have a scenario that is tough for us.

"We almost have two top seeds in Italy and Uruguay.

"Even Costa Rica, are maybe the least known, but they are tough opponents..I talked yesterday that I was positive about the whole affair. I'm still positive about the whole affair.

"If we are well prepared, we have the chance to win all three games. We have three top quality opponents. I'm sure they will be three exciting games."

If England come through their group, however, a relatively straightforward last-16 match should await: Group C includes Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan, none of whom would cost Roy Hodgson too many sleepless nights.

In the quarter-finals, however, England would then be likely to meet either Spain or Brazil if all the results go according to form and expectations.

While England's Group D is difficult, Groups B and G are equally tough. In Group B, Spain will face the Netherlands in their opening match of the tournament, a re-run of the bad tempered 2010 World Cup final.

Group G, meanwhile, is perhaps the toughest of the lot as it pitches Germany and Portugal together alongside the USA and Ghana - four sides who would all have expected to come through the group stages.

Hosts Brazil will take on Croatia in the opening match, and will also play Mexico and Cameroon.

France and Belgium enjoyed highly favourable draws: the French face Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras in Group E, while Belgium should be confident of progressing from Group H as they face Algeria, Russia and South Korea.

Group A

Brazil

Croatia

Mexico

Cameroon

Group B

Spain

Netherlands

Chile

Australia

Group C

Colombia

Greece

Ivory Coast

Japan

Group D

Uruguay

Costa Rica

England

Italy

Group E

Switzerland

Ecuador

France

Honduras

Group F

Argentina

Bosnia

Iran

Nigeria

Group G

Germany

Portugal

Ghana

USA

Group H

Belgium

Algeria

Russia

South Korea