Group D

England's Wayne Rooney. England's Wayne Rooney.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
11:21 AM

If you want to be morbid, then this is probably the Group of Death.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The English media have followed FA chief Greg Dyke’s lead and pretty much played down our hopes a while back. The reason is simple: Italy are much, much better, and no one is confident England can win a three-way battle for second with Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Italy beat England in the quarter-finals of the 2012 European Championship, and have the excellent Pirlo pulling the strings at the heart of their team. Uruguay boast Diego Forlan, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, although there have been scares over the Liverpool man’s fitness. Sadly for England, it looks like he will be fit to face them after knee surgery.

Incidentally, Uruguay won the last World Cup on Brazilian soil, in 1950.

Costa Rica will have their work cut out to avoid the wooden spoon against three previous World Cup winners.

• Uruguay

Manager: Oscar Washington Tabarez

Star player: Luis Suarez

Previous record: Winners 1930, 50

Summary: Had a huge scare when Luis Suarez, who has dominated the English game’s awards season, had to undergo knee surgery. The bad news for everyone else is he will be fit to play – but how fit?

• England

Manager: Roy Hodgson

Star player: Wayne Rooney

Previous record: Winners, 1966

Summary: Carry the very heavy hopes of a nation, but the truth is, since winning on home soil in 1966, England have rarely looked good enough to win a major tournament. Pressure is off somewhat.

• Costa Rica

Manager: Jorge Luis Pinto

Star player: Bryan Ruiz

Previous record: Rd of 16

Summary: Ruiz is their stand-out player but it will take a lot more than one man to help them out of the group. However, they are very strong at the back and might just be able to spring a surprise.

• Italy

Manager: Cesare Prandelli

Star player: Mario Balotelli

Previous record: W 1934, 38, 82, 06

Summary: Quite a mixture in their squad: the highly experienced Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo contrast with the maverick that is Mario Balotelli. On his day Balotelli can be brilliant – or just a spoilt kid.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Eastern Daily Press visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Eastern Daily Press staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Forgotten your password?

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Eastern Daily Press account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT