Group D Will England score?

Group D in England's group at the World Cup in Brazil in a few days time and the heat will be alien to them.

Group D Will England score?



The winners will play the runner-up in Group C and the runners-up will play the winners of Group C and either team will fancy their chances of progressing further. In that respect it's a good draw but first Italy, England, Uruguay or Costa Rica must get out of the group.

The opening games are on Saturday 14th June, Uruguay against Costa Rica and England against Italy. Then on Thursday 19th June Uruguay take on England followed by Italy and Costa Rica on Friday 20th. The final round of games is on Tuesday 24th Costa Rica against England and Italy against Uruguay.

Group D

England

Players like Steven Gerrard at 34 has had a tough Premier League season where he had to give it his all right until the end, FA Cup games, League Cup games and England internationals. You could forgive him for being tired, yet he is the lynch pin for this England side.

Wayne Rooney yet again isn't fit and is fast becoming a wasted talent, he doesn't seem to have the mental game to be a top level player like Messi or Ronaldo or even Bale. He seems content to trundle along as just another high quality player, but one who continually flops at the highest level.

These two aren't even the worry for England, it's the back four, well back eight really, there isn't a decent defender amongst them. Leighton Baines is a good attacker but poor defender and the same can be said for Glen Johnson who has been woeful in the two warm up games he has played.

Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill are not international standard and quite why Chris Smalling is at the World Cup goodness knows, he was a potential talent playing every week who saw stars in his eyes and like so many players ran off to the bright lights of a big club. A bit part player his game suffers and he is a worse player now than when he broke into the Fulham side. Roy Hodgson, his manager then, must be picking him now on memory, it can't be on performances.

Whatever England do going forward we can count on the defence to negate. I can see England quite easily not scoring a goal and coming home moaning they haven't lost. I think they will lose though 1-0 to Italy in the opener.

It seems to me that Hodgson has discounted this tournament and has picked a side for the European Championships and the next World Cup, this is preparation for those and perhaps that's not a bad idea.

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Italy

A hear people saying this is not a good Italy side but didn't they get to the European Championship final in 2012, a tournament in which they defeated Germany, beat England on penalties, drew with Croatia and drew with Spain. They also lost on penalties to Spain in the 2013 Confederations Cup held in Brazil.

They are a better side than they are given credit for and I believe an improving one. Their tournament record stands the test, 6 semi-finals in the last 11 World Cups, only Brazil have won the tournament more often than Italy's 4 victories.

They are managed by Cesare Prandelli who was a contender for the Tottenham job until he signed a contract extension with Italy. Qualification was 6 wins and 4 draws. I expect them to justify group favouritism.

Uruguay

Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani carry the threat for Uruguay, however Suárez has been injured and will struggle to be at full fitness. Diego Forlan is now 34 but will still be an able deputy.

Ireland recently played Uruguay and lost 1-0 with manager Martin O'Neil saying if you stop the front two their defence is weak. Attack is their strength but after that there is nothing to fear. The question can our defence cope with their attack and can their defence cope with our attack?

Whoever comes out on top in this game will go through and I see that being Uruguay with a settled squad that knows how to play together, unlike the last minute changes to the England set-up.

Costa Rica

The central American side are no whipping boys, they beat Mexico in a qualifying game for instance. They are a solid hard working unti who will try to keep everything tight.

The will defend and close everything down in midfield so may not offer to much of an attacking threat. I can see England especially struggling to break them down.

In conclusion I see the group finishing

Italy
Uruguay
England
Costa Rica


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