Mary Phillips looks forward to an intriguing encounter this June.

This World Cup championship in Brazil is set to be one of the toughest for the English and Italian teams. It was quite surprising that Italy had not been seeded for the group stages and they have an impressive World Cup pedigree. Together with England they were placed in the 4th pot together with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal and Russia, the final draw has scheduled a number of interesting matches to watch, but extremely difficult to play for the teams in the D group.

England’s opening match against Italy looks like one of the most intriguing matches. Playing against the Italians is never an easy task and they will enter this match as favorites. According to the World Cup betting information found in sites like this one the odds of Italy winning the World Cup are 28/1 compared to England’s, which is 33/1.

The match takes place on June 14th in the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus. This is a new 46,000 all-seater stadium which was specially constructed for the Brazilian World Cup. England Manager Roy Hodgson will be hoping for a successful campaign start and for England to go further than the Euro 2012 quarter finals when they lost to Italy on penalties. England supporters will be hoping that this will be the World Cup where Wayne Rooney challenges for the Golden Boot award especially now that he has signed a new contract extension and appears to have a settled future at Manchester United. The England squad is expected to be a mixture of age, experience and younger players such as Daniel Sturridge and Andros Townsend hoping to be included alongside Captain Steven Gerrard.

Italy have a record of being notoriously slow starters in World Cup tournaments although players such as Mario Balotelli will always be a danger in any match and he is widely regarded as a likely match winner for Italy. The Italian world cup squad is one of the most experienced in the competition and players such as Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo are seasoned World Cup campaigners who will know exactly what to expect from every stage of the tournament. Italian coach Cesare Prandelli is said to be still considering whether to bring new players into the team but his final choice is expected to be a squad where experience is paramount regardless of the age of the players.

The two teams have had 22 encounters since 1977 where England were victorious against the Italians in a World Cup match. If we conduct a close analysis of the results of their previous matches have been quite tense. Italy has recorded 9 wins against the English, while we have only been victorious in seven occasions; the remaining 6 encounters have ended up in draws. More specifically, their last encounter in the 1997 edition ended in a goalless draw, so it seems that their group match in Brazil this year will undoubtedly also be a close fought match.