London - England manager Roy Hodgson believes that the Brazilian climate will make it easier for African teams to prosper at next year's World Cup than the traditional heavyweights from Europe.
Writing in the programme notes for the friendly game between Italy and Fulham that is due to take place at his former club Fulham next week, he said: "I think (African teams) may have a stronger chance than any of the European teams, to be perfectly honest, because of the climate."
No African team has ever made it to the semi-finals of a World Cup, but Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal have all reached the quarter-finals and Hodgson believes the continent's leading sides are equipped to make an impact at world football's showpiece event.
"There are many African players out there of excellent quality now," he added.
"They play in the top European leagues and that makes the African nations very strong. Nigeria have traditionally been one of the strongest, with some famous names in their team.
"Whoever is at the game on Monday night will see two very good teams and it will be an exciting outcome. Who knows, we may even see a little pointer for how things will go in Brazil."