World Cup Group D: Uruguay v England

By on June 19, 2014

Two giants of group D will face off against each other in the 2nd round of fixtures with both sides coming into this game with losses in their opening fixtures which truly signifies the importance of this game.

England were very unlucky to get nothing from their opening game as many would agree that it was one of the best English performances in the past couple of major tournaments. It was the first time that England abandoned their pure English approach to the game and instead of the usual 4-4-2 employed a very attacking and technical 4-2-3-1. The change in style paid off as the English were off to a great start. The only problem was failing to find the back of the net. Midway through the half they conceded through Marchisio’s wonder strike but Daniel Sturridge almost instantly equalized. It was however, not their day as Mario Balotelli scored Italy’s second of the night, and the eventual winner, in the 2nd half and England could not come back from that. That being said, their performance in the opening game was very productive and encouraging and they will consider their chances in this game to be very high. Roy Hodgson’s decision to start with Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling paid off quite well as the 19 year old was causing all the problems for the Italian defence. Hodgson would be the least worried about his team as he knows that although his side lost to Italy, they pushed the Azurri to their limits and another performance like that could win them all three points in this game.

As England lost their opening game, this is a must win for them if they are to make it into the knockout round. Both Italy and Costa Rica already have a three point advantage over them and they must win this game to take something into the final game of the group. One thing that plays in their favor is the fact that Uruguay lost their opening game to Costa Rica who were considered the weakest team in the group. After this game, Uruguay will face Italy and that won’t be an easy game for them either. So a win in this game would proved England with an immense psychological advantage effectively putting the Uruguayans out of contention for a place in the knockout phase.

One thing that Roy Hodgson will have a hard time with is whether or not to shift Wayne Rooney in the #10 role. The Manchester United forward started the game on the left and although he provided the cross for England’s solo goal, he did not play to his full potential and fans and critics alike were of the opinion that he could do much better in that pocket behind Daniel Sturridge. Hodgson was handed a boost as Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in training and might be handed a start in this game. This will give Roy a chance to tinker with his formation and reshuffle the postions of Sterling and Rooney.

Uruguay have a tough task ahead of them if they are to avoid getting knocked out of the tournament at the group stages and make it to the round of 16. Their opening game of the World Cup did not go exactly as planned where they were completely embarassed by Costa Rica. Uruguay opened the scoring through Edinson Cavani’s penalty but that was the only time they managed to find the back of the net. Costa Rica took everybody by surprise. Joel Campbell soon equalized for Costa Rica before Oscar Duarte and Marcos Urena slotted two more past the Uruguayan goalkeeper to complete the comeback and win all three points. Uruguay were left in shock after the defeat as Costa Roca were considered the weakest team in the group. Losing to Costa Rica is one thing but they way Oscar Tabarez’s men fell to the Costa Ricans was another. They Uruguayans had absolutely no answer to the Costa Rica defence as they failed to make any real chances. The chances of them being blocked out the same way against the English are much more higher as England possess one of the best centerback pairings in the world in Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka.

Three points were considered all but confirm from the opening game but now that they’ve lost that one, they have a gigantic task at hand. They must face England in this game and then go on to face Italy and hope for the best possible results if they are to make it to the knockout round. Anything short of a victory will be deadly for the Uruguayans and will hurt them more than it may hurt England because England play their final group game against Costa Rica whereas Uruguay will have to face Italy in their final game which is not the best fixture to go in search of all three points. If Uruguay fail to win this game, they can consider themselves well and truly out of the World Cup.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez who has been in scintillating form this past season suffered an injury before the World Cup and failed to make it to the opening game and his absence was dearly noted. The media reports suggest that he is now 100% fit and will make a comeback into this game. Even if he is not totally fit, Tabarez might still risk him because the stakes are very high and if they don’t get a win in this game then their chances will slim down significantly in the final game of the group. It all depends on Suarez’s fitness level and whether or not he can make an impact in this game or not.

England will most likely start with the same team they fielded against Italy apart from a few minor changes. Although Oxlade-Chamberlain is fit again, he might not be risked and Danny Welbeck will likely retain his position on the right. Rooney however, will most likely be shifted back to the #10 role with Sterling moving to the left. Sturridge will lead the attacking line. Gerard and Henderson will start in the double pivot.

Uruguay will have to make do without Maxi Pereira in this game as he is suspended. Alvaro Pereira might start in his place at left back. David Lugano will also miss out owing to an injury. Luiz Suarez seems like a doubt and the decision to play him will probably be made at the last moment but considering the stakes, he will probably start.

DATE: June 19, 2014

TIME: 8:00 PM BST

VENUE: Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo

REFEREE: Carlos Velasco Carballo

PROBABLE LINE-UPS:
Uruguay (4-3-3):- Muslera; Pereira, Coates, Godin, Caceres; Rodriguez, Gargano, Rios; Suarez, Forlan, Cavani
England (4-2-3-1):- Hart; Baines, Jagielka, Cahill, Johnson; Gerard, Henderson; Sterling, Rooney, Welbeck; Sturridge

LAST MATCH:
Uruguay: 1-3 vs Costa Rica
England: 1-2 vs Italy

AUTHOR’s PREDICTION: Uruguay 1-2 England

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