Evening Times

England delight at their pot luck

- By KEN MILLAR

FORMER England manager Terry Venables is already dreaming of a place in the World Cup knockout stages for his country after they were drawn in Group C with the USA, Algeria and Slovenia.

Fabio Capello’s team kick off their campaign on Saturday, June 12 against the United States in Rustenburg.

Their second and third matches will be in Cape Town against Algeria and in Port Elizabeth against Slovenia.

Venables admits the United States will be tough opposition. Generally, however, he believes that England should get through the group comfortabl­y.

“It’s a tough game because the USA will be fit, organised and while they won’t outplay us, they could out-sprint us,” he said.

“Although Algeria did extremely well to get through they are not really on a par with any of those teams.

“We’ll be expected to do it and we should do it, so let’s be very happy.”

Former England striker Alan Shearer said: “We said beforehand I don’t think we will be too worried about the USA.

“I think Mr Capello will be sat there in his seat in South Africa and inside will be absolutely delighted.”

Venables added: “They are going to say ‘there are no easy games’ and of course, that is true, but it’s a good a draw as we could have expected.

“You could have handpicked that so we’ve got to be very satisfied.”

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson, who has experience coaching around the globe, admitted he was slightly concerned that the top two in England’s group will meet the top two in Group D – which contains Germany, Australia, Serbia and Ghana – in the first knockout round.

“It’s a fantastic draw,” he said. “The only blight on the horizon is the group we’re going to be playing against when we qualify.”

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