THE squad is picked, the warm-up matches have been played and the players, manager and support team are safely in their five-star Rio de Janeiro hotel.

England are ready for action – the first match is against Italy at 11pm on Saturday – and fans abroad and back home are ready to cheer them on, particularly Saints stars Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw.

So as yet another World Cup campaign is set to begin for the Three Lions, as much planning has gone into what happens in Hampshire as on the pitch in Brazil.

Police and council staff are bracing themselves for a rise in alcohol-related crime and fake goods during the month-long tournament which kicks off when the hosts play Croatia on Thursday at 9pm.

Police have launched a Watch Your Game campaign to remind football supporters to drink sensibly and stay within the law.

They are expecting a rise in domestic abuse, drink-driving and alcohol-related violence while the World Cup is on.

Extra police patrols will be taking place at pubs and bars in Southampton city centre as fans flock to cheer on England during this year’s World Cup.

It comes as venues in the city can be given permission to extend their opening hours.

Up to 420 licensed premises in the city could serve alcohol up until 1am provided they are showing England fixtures as part of relaxed licensing laws.

The extended licensing powers will come into play on Saturday for the match against Italy but will cease if England are knocked out of the competition.

Hampshire Constabulary confirmed there will be procedures in place to cope with potential problems associated with late-night drinking, while South Central Ambulance Service will provide an emergency bus for vulnerable fans.

Justin Roberts, Hampshire Constabulary’s community safety and licensing inspector, said the force was seeking to minimise alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder.

Mr Roberts said: “The World Cup is a fantastic event and we want everyone to be able to go out and enjoy it and not have their evening ruined by drunken violence.

“Plans are in place to conduct additional high-visibility patrols in the Southampton night-time economy areas and surrounding city neighbourhoods.

“The cost of policing the demand raised by the World Cup will be absorbed into the current budget.”

A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service said it is expected to be readily available should demand increase during World Cup matches.

They said: “This includes adding additional crews overnight to account for any potential demands.

“We will be focussing our resources around predicted areas of high demand during the World Cup. We are very experienced at managing busy periods through New Year’s Eve and Olympic planning.”

In 2010-11 there were 1.2 million alcohol-related hospital admissions, more than double the 510,800 admissions seen in 2002-03, and about 15,000 deaths caused by alcohol.

Nationally, during the last World Cup in 2010 there was an increase in domestic abuse incidents of 27 per cent compared to the year before.

Alcohol misuse is linked to more than half a million recorded crimes, and may contribute to as many as one million assaults and about 125,000 instances of domestic violence.

Throughout June, both forces will be conducting drink/drug operations at all times throughout the day and night across the Thames Valley, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Every driver involved in a collision will also be breathalysed as a matter of course.