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England World Cup media talk 12/06/14

12 June 2014

By Rhys Griffiths

Here are a selection of Thursday 12th June's big stories from the media covering the England team as they prepare for their opening game of the World Cup against Italy on Saturday.

Groundsman admits Manaus pitch is in 'bad shape' (BBC)

The man responsible for the turf on which England will begin their World Cup journey on Saturday has admitted the pitch in 'in bad shape' ahead of the opening fixture, the BBC reports.

Arena Amazonia head groundsman Carlos Botella described the challenges faced in preparing the surface in Manaus. He said: "There are no roads. All the machinery and materials had to be brought by ship. There was no fertilizer and no seeds."

Pirlo confident ahead of England match (The Telegraph)

Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo is in a confident mood ahead of his sides meeting with England on Saturday evening, the Telegraph reports.

The 35-year-old Juvenus man has told the press he believes Italy have what it takes to lift the World Cup in Brazil next month. He said: "Can Italy win the World Cup? Of course. When I play, it is solely to win. I am never just content with getting through the round. We have a competitive squad and will give our all to achieve this objective."

Poll: Just 4% of England fans think team will win World Cup (The Independent)

A poll on the eve of the World Cup has found that the overwhelming majority of England fans believe the team will not lift the World Cup, the Independent reports. The survey across 19 countries found that only fans of Costa Rica rate their chances of glory in Brazil lower than fans of England.

These stories have been selected from a variety of today's media sources and they do not represent the views of The Football League.

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