Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville peace talks suspended

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Was the UN chief’s speech in Tel Aviv really a 'shameful message'?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France concerned about anti-Semitism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

  • Live: Pro-Palestinian protest staged in Paris under tight security

    Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

Sport

Group C: 'England expects'

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-06-08

England enter the South African World Cup with the usual burden of expectation. While their fans expect Steven Gerrard & Co to cruise through Group C, rivals USA, Algeria and Slovenia will be keen to prove they are no pushovers.

From June 1 to 10, our sport coverage in the 11pm news bulletin focuses entirely on football’s biggest show – the FIFA World Cup 2010.

 

AFP - England arrived in South Africa Thursday morning hoping a favourable first-round draw can be the catalyst for a serious World Cup challenge.
  
Cool, clear conditions greeted some of the most watched performers in the global televised football arena when they landed at Johannesburg international airport with manager Fabio Capello.
  
"I hope the World Cup will be a big success for South Africa and also for my team. Thank you. It is good to be here," the Italian told reporters on the airport tarmac.
  
Live broadcasts of virtually all English Premiership matches mean the stars of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool are more recognisable to many South Africans than domestic equivalents.
  
A recent survey here revealed England would be the second most popular team after Brazil among local supporters should the national side fail to go all the way in the June 11-July 11 tournament.
  
Tight security surrounded the grey-suited England stars as they followed Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Denmark, United States, North Korea and Nigeria in reaching the first African country to host the World Cup.
  
Once immigration formalities had been completed at a temporary arrival facility, England headed by luxury coach for Rustenburg, a town two hours' drive west of Johannesburg in the heart of a platinum-rich area.
  
It is there at the 45,000-capacity Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 12 that England launch their Group C campaign against the USA, shock victors 60 years ago in the sole previous World Cup clash between the countries.
  
Unexpected qualifiers Algeria will be the second and possibly weakest first round opponents at Cape Town Stadium six days later followed by another coastal setting for the game with Slovenia on June 23 in Port Elizabeth.
  
While pundits harbour mixed views on how far Wayne Rooney-inspired England can go, there is unanimity that not coming first on the group table would be a massive setback.
  
As winners England would probably meet and defeat Australia, Ghana or Serbia for a place among the last eight - where they exited the last two World Cup tournaments - but finishing second means bogey team Germany loom large.
  
Since overcoming Germany 4-2 after extra time in London to win their only World Cup 44 years ago, England have experienced constant heartache against the decades-old rivals.
  
Capello confirmed this week he will lead his 'Lions' in the Euro 2012 qualifiers after media speculation linked him with recently crowned European champions Inter Milan as a replacement for new Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho.
  
The Italian has transformed England from a team that failed to even reach the Euro 2008 championship under Steve McClaren into 11-2 third favourites behind Spain and Brazil for the world title.
  
Many of the McClaren-era team remains, including central defenders Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, midfielders Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and leading scorer Rooney.
  
But the rules are vastly different under Capello, who has never tolerated the celebrity-driven distractions that helped undermine some previous England campaigns.

 

Date created : 2010-06-04

COMMENT(S)