2014 World Cup – Group D
England vs Uruguay
Arena Corinthians – São Paulo, Brazil
Thursday, June 19, 2014, 3:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN, Univision
Money Line: England +105 / Uruguay +255 / Draw +265
Point Line: England -0.5 +105 / Uruguay +0.5 -125
Total: over 2.5 -120 / under 2.5 Even
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker
Both England and Uruguay lost their opening group game in Group D of the 2014 World Cup. England lost 2-1 to Italy last Saturday in steamy Manaus, while Uruguay was upset 3-1 by Costa Rica in Fortaleza. Now, England and Uruguay are both desperate for a win as they meet Thursday in Sao Paulo. A loss by either team wouldn’t officially eliminate them, unless Italy and Costa Rica end in a draw on Friday.
Uruguay leads the series 4-3-3 against England. They haven’t played since 2006 when England won 2-1 in a friendly. Uruguay has won both meetings in the World Cup in 1954 and 1966. Despite the loss in 1966, England would go on to win the World Cup on home soil that year for the first and only time.
Uruguay played their opening match against Costa Rica without striker Luis Suarez who had minor knee surgery last month. Suarez says he is a 100% fit and will start against England. Uruguay scored first 24 minutes in on a goal from Edinson Cavani. They would hold that 1-0 lead until halftime. At the 54th minute, Joel Campbell scored the equalizer for Costa Rica. Oscar Duarte made it 2-1 Costa Rica three minutes later. At the 84th minute, Costa Rica made it 3-1 on a goal from Marco Urena. Late in stoppage time Uruguayan defender Maxi Pereira was issued a red card and sent off. He will miss the match against England as well.
Costa Rica had 12 shots with 4 on goal. Uruguay had 9 and 5. Fouls were 20-18 for Uruguay. Uruguay had possession for 54% of the time. Costa Rica had 6 corners to five for Uruguay. Uruguay was called for offsides 6 times to 2 for Costa Rica.
In the England-Italy match, Claudio Marchisio gave Italy a 1-0 lead 35 minutes lead. Daniel Sturridge equalized for England two minutes later. Mario Balotelli scored at the 50th minute to give Italy a 2-1 lead. They would hold on for the narrow victory. The game was played in Manaus which close to the Amazon River. Conditions were very hot and humid, even more so than Brazil normally is in June. Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon missed the match with an ankle injury. His replacement Salvatore Sirigu was sensational making 7 saves.
England had 18 shots including 8 on goal. Italy had 12 and 5. Italy had 12 fouls to 8 for England. Italy had possession for 52% of the time. England had 9 corners to 2 for Italy. Italy had 7 offsides and England had none.
Uruguay is managed by Oscar Tabarez. He will use a 4-4-2 formation. Suarez returns to the line up after missing game one against Costa Rica. Edinson Cavani is a capable scorer in his own right and might need to pick up the scoring slack if Suarez can’t go or is ineffective. Veteran defender Diego Lugano is nearing 100 caps for the national team. There is no telling how bad the defense would be with his leadership as the captain. Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera needs to play much better than he did during qualifying in order for Uruguay to have similar success as in 2010 when they made it to the semifinals.
England is coached by veteran Roy Hodgson. England will use a 4-2-3-1 formation. Forward Danny Welbeck will start but is battling a thigh injury. Forward Wayne Rooney has struggled with fitness recently and some are calling for him to be benched. That is very unlikely to happen barring injury. Daniel Sturridge is only 24 but is already a great striker. Raheem Sterling, only 19, is a rising star. Another youngster, 20 year old Ross Barkley had a great showing against Ecuador in a recent friendly, and he could provide a late spark off the bench should England need it. Steven Gerrard has long been a fixture for England at defensive midfield. Keeper Joe Hart is very good.
Uruguay’s biggest problem is defense. In qualifying for the World Cup, Uruguay gave up just as many goals as they scored. England should be able to find open space against such a porous defense. Keep an eye on the fitness of both Suarez and Welbeck. I think this game ends in a 2-2 draw.
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