England v Uruguay – Preview
Uruguay themselves got off to the worst possible start after what looked like an obvious victory against Costa Rica, however, things didn’t go to plan and were turned over 1-3. Superstar Luis Suarez solemnly watched his side from the bench after not making it due to his comeback from surgery. Much to all our worries he has declared himself “Ready to KO England”.
England’s first game against Italy in Manaus was positive yes, however you can play as well as you want but in tournament football you need results quickly and we in the end fell short 2-1. This now sets up an almighty clash against Uruguay as the losers will undoubtedly be more or less eliminated and with it being so early on into the tournament after the long intense preparation it can all be drastically over in an instance.
Back to the Italy game for a moment and yes, it was refreshing seeing the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson given their chance from the off on the big stage and Sterling especially impressed and scared the Italians to death with his blistering pace and trickery. His confidence from his outstanding Liverpool season was certainly still shining through as in the first few minutes he easily jinked past Paletta and unleashed a thunderous drive from all of thirty yards, which deceived and sent the whole nation into ecstasy, only to find out it hit the side netting.
Didn’t think he was celebrating much to say he scored in the World Cup at just 19 years of age…….
The downside to the performance was certainly down the left side where Leighton Baines was getting no support whatsoever and that is not all down to the ‘scapegoat’ Wayne Rooney as for the second goal, it was Danny Welbeck who failed to track back and follow Candreva which led to Mario Balotelli heading in at the back post. Just to point out Welbeck did in fact have a good game and proved his critics wrong. We also need to not give our opponents too much time on the ball to allow them to pick their heads up and pick their passes and the magician Pirlo certainly capitalized as ever. I also noticed that they got beyond Gerrard and Henderson and into that space between the back four and the midfield far too often.
Looking ahead to Uruguay and they also have extremely forward thinking full-backs so whoever does play wide will have to be committed to their defensive duties. However, one of them full-backs Maxi Pereira was shown a straight red card and will therefore not be available for the game.
Now what does Roy Hodgson do with his team selection……..Does he play Wayne Rooney and if he does, does he play left side or in the number ten role behind Daniel Sturridge?
We all know Wayne Rooney is our best player, but he really isn’t showing it in the big games when we need him but as some people think, you might be able to get more out of Ross Barkley or Adam Lallana which could be true however I still don’t think Roy would even consider dropping the Manchester United forward. Thursday’s game looks to have come just too soon for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who again is another promising youngster that would have been in contention. In my opinion though Raheem Sterling did himself no harm at all against Italy and looks dead certain to retain his place, whether it is central or wide we will have to wait and see.
Looking at the Uruguayans, obviously the main threat will be Luis Suarez however Gerrard, Johnson and co understand him being their Liverpool teammates and hopefully will be able to keep him quiet, to a certain extent that is. Edinson Cavani is another danger man obviously, although he did next to nothing but score a penalty against Costa Rica.
The one man to exploit is ex West Brom defender Diego Lugano who isn’t the quickest so if we get Sterling, Sturridge and Welbeck running at him and taking him on they are bound to cause him real problems.
England v Uruguay: Possible Starting Lineups:
England: Joe Hart; Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Glen Johnson; Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard; Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling; Daniel Sturridge.
Uruguay: Fernando Muslera; Martín Cáceres, Diego Godín, Sebastián Coates, Jorge Fucile; Cristian Rodríguez, Walter Gargano, Egidio Arévalo Ríos, Christian Stuani; Luís Suárez, Edinson Cavani.
England v Uruguay: Prediction
Overall, apart from feeling extremely nervous I do feel that we will win the game 2-1.