By DAN KARELL
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is likely to be one of the most unique tournaments in the history of soccer.
With stadiums across the country being used, a nation at the World Cup could play a match one day in winter-like conditions in the southeast of Brazil before traveling to the northeast where the humidity and heat will feel more like the summer. It’s these potential situations that has England National Team manager Roy Hodgson worried for his side’s fate ahead of the World Cup draw on Friday.
“You always hope that the draw is going to be kind to you in terms of where you are going to be asked to play,” Hodgson told The Telegraph in England. “There are venues in Brazil that will be harder to play in than others. Maybe in terms of the teams you are drawn against some on paper look harder than others but I’m more concerned if anything by the venues than by the teams we draw.”
Hodgson also sought to reduce pressure on his side in case they draw multiple powers such as Argentina, France, or Brazil in the group stage.
“All discussion about teams and their strengths is based, not on speculation, but we don’t know,” Hodgson said. “We don’t know how good Argentina are, we would all think ‘blimey, Argentina are strong’ but we don’t know that. They might be no stronger than Chile. The good thing is that if we get Argentina, for example, we will be there and have a chance to play them and believe we can go out and beat them.”
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TER STEGEN TO DECIDE ON FUTURE THIS WEEK
While he may be better remembered in the United States for his blunder with the German National Team against the USA, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is still one of the most promising young goalkeepers in the world.
The 21-year-old has told German publication BILD that his future will be settled shortly, as Barcelona has been hot on his heels for the last six months, since they knew that Victor Valdes would be leaving the club at the end of this season.
Ter Stegen, who is the current Borussia Mönchengladback starting goalkeeper, has been with the club since he was four-years old. This season, in 14 games, ter Stegen has made 54 saves and earned five clean sheets with nine wins.
KOMPANY BACK IN MAN CITY MATCH-DAY SQUAD
Manchester City’s captain and starting center back Vincent Kompany is set to return to action after nearly two months out.
The Belgian international defender has been limited to only four games in the English Premier League this season due to multiple injuries, but him and manager Manuel Pellegrini are hoping to put those troubles behind them.
“Kompany is in the squad list and will travel with the team,” Pellegrini told Sky Sports. “I think Vincent is a very important player. He is a very good defender and of course we need him.”
Man City visit West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday and then host Swansea City on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the Spanish Football League (LFP) 2012/2013 MVP, though Lionel Messi earned the Best Forward and Best Player awards. (REPORT)
Barcelona left back Jordi Alba returned to full training with the rest of the team this morning, though Andres Iniesta sat out and watched from the sidelines. (REPORT)
Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal will sign an extension today with the club through 2017. (REPORT)
Ashley Cole has played down any speculation of him leaving Chelsea, stating his determination to earn a new contract. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Agree with Hodgson’s sentiments? Do you see ter Stegen moving to Barcelona?
Share your thoughts below.