From the Back Pages, December 7: England drawn in Group D to face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica

ENGLAND have been handed a tough task at next summer’s World Cup after being drawn in Group D alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. (The Express)

Friday, 6th December 2013, 9:15 pm
From the back pages

FA chairman Greg Dyke was caught on camera making a ‘throat cutting’ gesture after it was revealed that England would be facing Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in the 2014 World Cup group stage. (The Mirror)

While England sweat like a jockey in a sauna against Italy, Brazil will strive for coolness as they journey across their vast homeland for group games against Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon. (The Telegraph)

Spain and Holland will play each other in Group B in a repeat of the 2010 World Cup’s heated final in South Africa. The final, which was refereed by Howard Webb, saw Spain win 1-0 thanks to Andres Iniesta’s extra-time strike. Group B will also have Chile and Australia. (Daily Mail)

There is no sense of panic at Old Trafford in the aftermath of the 1-0 defeat to Everton on Wednesday night which leaves Manchester United five points adrift of a Champions League spot. The Glazer family are understood to feel that they have big enough pockets to take the £15m financial hit that absence from the elite European competition would bring. If football were only about numbers, that kind of damage would allow United to exist with impunity outside of the continental elite for several years. (The Independent)

Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin riding high on tide of change. (The Times)

Brad Haddin said that his captain, Michael Clarke, could lay claim to the title of best batsman in the world after his second century in consecutive Ashes Tests, and commiserated with his opposite number, Alastair Cook, for being confounded by a pre-Christmas “cracker”. (The Guardian)