Fiji Time: 12:30 AM on Sunday 26 April

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

England-Italy clash in Manaus heat

Ap
Saturday, June 14, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO - The heat and humidity will be a factor, and so will the poor playing surface, when the Amazonian jungle city of Manaus hosts England and Italy in its first World Cup match tomorrow.

The most exotic of Brazil's 12 host cities got one of the tournament's best games, a Group D match between two former World Cup champions.

It's a match that neither team believes it can afford to lose.

With Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli on one side working against Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard on the other, there will be plenty of superstar quality to marvel at and deflect attention from the subpar quality of the field.

Even the head groundsman at the Arena da Amazonia said the grass was "in bad shape."

But the field may not be as stifling as the heat. Temperatures are expected to be about 32 degrees Celsius, and the humidity always seems to hover around 80 per cent in Manaus.

The team that can run for 90 minutes under those circumstances might just be the team that leaves the jungle city with three points.

Before coming to Brazil, England spent some time in Miami to acclimatise to the hot conditions. Now that they are in South America, it's time to prepare for Pirlo.

"It's important we don't give him much time and space when we come up against him because he can influence any game," said Gerrard, the England captain. "He has got that ability."

Pirlo has been getting better with age. He's 35 now, but only two years ago the midfield maestro was instrumental in leading Italy to the European Championship final.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Fijian accused of killing ex-partner
  2. Smart watch goes on sale
  3. Keeping it sexually safe
  4. Gospel shines
  5. Airline confirms position still vacant
  6. $18m brew house
  7. Lal bags another medal to his list
  8. Natabua, Jasper win Coca-Cola Games
  9. LTA warns bus drivers against incomplete routes
  10. Blues prepare for Ba in Fiji FACT opener

Top Stories this Week

  1. Gang rape Monday (20 Apr)
  2. Bloody Sunday Monday (20 Apr)
  3. Death shatters dream Monday (20 Apr)
  4. The murder of a schoolteacher Tuesday (21 Apr)
  5. Wish for son's death Monday (20 Apr)
  6. Wrong body for burial Thursday (23 Apr)
  7. Unclaimed body laid to rest Tuesday (21 Apr)
  8. Hunt for terrorist Thursday (23 Apr)
  9. Man dies in road accident Sunday (19 Apr)
  10. Rights over freehold land Wednesday (22 Apr)