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Preview: The Three Lions take on Uruguay

England

Preview: The Three Lions take on Uruguay

England move quickly onto their second game in this World Cup on Thursday. It is a game which could induce no greater signs of despair as both sides desperately need a victory to keep their world cup hopes alive. A defeat for either nation would certainly pay an end to their campaign. Uruguay sit bottom of the group after a shock defeat at the helm of Costa Rica, conceding one more goal than the Three Lions.

Le Celeste came into the World Cup on the back of a six-match unbeaten run, including victories over Argentina and Slovenia.  Therefore the defeat to Costa Rica in Group D’s opening fixture may have come as a shock to many. In the abscence of Luis Suárez, Óscar Tabárez’s side lacked any real attacking impetus and the performances of veteran Diego Forlan and Edison Cavani were certainly questionable. Costa Rica’s chances were somewhat improved after the sending off of defender Maxi Pereira.

Roy Hodgson’s squad put in an encouraging performance against a resolute Italian side but came out on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline. Despite this defeat, England would have come away with plenty of positives including the performances of Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge. Much has been said about the position of Wayne Rooney, deployed in a left sided role in attacking midfield against Italy, he often left Leighton Baines exposed to the quick and decisive Antonio Candreva.

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Manager: Óscar Tabárez
Captain: Diego Lugano
FIFA Ranking: 7
World Cups: 2 (1930 & 1950)
Copa Americas: 15 (1916, 1917, 1920, 1923,1924, 1926, 1935, 1942, 1956, 1959,1967, 1983, 1987, 1995 & 2011)

23-man World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad).

Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica), Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion), Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Jorge Fucile (Porto).

Midfielders: Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio), Alvaro Pereira (Sao Paulo), Walter Gargano (Parma), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Morelia), Diego Perez (Bologna), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo).

Forwards: Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain), Abel Hernandez (Palermo), Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka), Christian Stuani (Espanyol).

Key Men

Striker Luis Suárez was the star of the Premier League last season, netting 31 goals. Suárez was not only prolific throughout the season but also supportive, assisting 12 of Liverpool’s goals. The Uruguayan marksman was a constant nightmare for defenders using his pace, nifty footwork and powerful shooting. In previous seasons he was often criticised for his selfishness and erratic behavior, however, he seemingly became a cult figure inside the dressing room. His on field antics were minimal as he focused on his game, this certainly paid off. Suárez created 87 chances, 31 more than Wayne Rooney and only five less than Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. The match is set to be decided by the tightest of margins so a performance from either of these two is likely to help the result.

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Suárez is likely to be paired up front with Paris Saint-Germain striker Edison Cavaniwho scored in the defeat against Costa Rica. Cavani’s form last term may have been spasmodic but that said, he manged to score 16 times in a side which favoured Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Cavani and form a daunting partnership up front which will strike fear into any defence. The PSG striker is hungry to prove the world he can still rekindle the form he once showed at Napoli. Cavani rated higher than any other Uruguay player in their opening fixture.

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Team News

England are set to be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for a second consecutive match as he looks to recover from a knee ligament injury. The winger is back in full training which is a positive sign as he aims to be back for England’s final group match against Costa Rica. Raheem Sterling impressed against Italy and is expected to keep his place in the starting eleven while plenty of questions have been raised with the position of Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. An unchanged starting line-up is expected.

Uruguay will be boosted by the return of Luis Suárez, the striker declaring himself 100% fit for this encounter. If however he does not start, Tabárez may look to the experience Diego Forlan to start. La Celeste will miss the services of defender Maxi Pereira after being sent off against Costa Rica. To add to their woes, captain and defender Diego Lugano has been ruled out through injury.

Predicted Lineups

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Stats

  • England and Uruguay have faced one another ten times. England have won three, drawn three and lost four. Scoring 10 to Uruguay’s 13.
  • England could fail to qualify for the second stage for the first time since 1958.
  • Wayne Rooney has yet to score a World Cup goal. The Manchester United striker’s spell has now been extended to 684 minutes.
  • England have only lost three of their last 17 World Cup matches and have won seven – excluding the penalty shoot-out defeats.
  • The last meeting between the two nations came eight years ago, where goals from Peter Crouch and Ashley Cole secured a 2-1 victory for the Three Lions.

Odds

England to win.. 10/11
Draw .. 13/5
Uruguay to win.. 14/5

(William Hill)

 Stats provided by http://www.squawka.com

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