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RANK OUTSIDERS

England will be going to the FIFA World Cup 2014 as one of the rank outsiders of the tournament after having failed to get past the quarter-final stage of a major tournament for the last few decades.

At the last tournament – the Euro 2012, they once again failed to get past this stage in what was Roy Hodgson’s first big job. After having been experienced with the team for the last two years, Hodgson says that they are in a good position to be challenges for the World Cup.

He is, however, that England go into the competition as outsiders to win the trophy, but that does not mean that his players will not be trying their level best. There has also been a suggestion that England will be too defensive in order to achieve qualification to the knockout stages. This is because they are in a tough group containing the likes of Uruguay and Italy, who will be the primary favourites, coupled with Costa Rica, who many believe will spring a surprise or two.

The first match of the tournament will be against Italy. Even though the friendly matches have been positive up until now, Italy are widely regarded as a favourite for the competition itself. Hodgson says that England will attack with force and not just defend at the World Cup.

"We will be brave, we will believe in ourselves and we will risk defeat. We have to allow our players to express themselves in the same way they do in the top Premier League teams. We won't try and sneak our way through the games because I think with the type of players we have that wouldn't suit us. The introduction of many of the younger players has given us an injection of pace and has given us the injection of good technical ability," said Hodgson.