Uruguay v England is the game and Sao Paulo is the place where these two teams will be playing for their World Cup lives, and as the title of this blog says WINNER STAYS ON. Defeats for both teams in their opening group games means they have effectively reached the knockout phase already as any mistakes could mean a trip home. The intriguing thing is the two teams that beat them Costa Rica (who top the group) and Italy don’t meet until the next day, so both sides really need to go out and win the match to give themselves the best possible chance of qualifying for the second round. Obviously Luis Suarez, who plys his trade in England will have his name linked massively to this game in the build up. The Liverpool striker is fighting to be fit for the game after knee surgery in late May. I will be amazed if he misses this game and have no doubt he will be risked even though he cannot be 100% fit. Wayne Rooney who has never ever scored a goal at a World Cup will be the most discussed player on the England team and basically whether he is worth his place after an uninspiring performance against Italy. Personally I felt he was played out of position in that match initially and for me he needs to be played centrally (either main front man or behind the front man), if he is not the managers choice for any of these two positions then I would then leave him on the bench (which is a great option as someone to bring on) as England do now have other selection possibilities with their very promising young players who are in the squad. My prediction for the game is below – I’m going mainly with my head – especially if you look at their respective performances in their opening fixtures – (mixed with a bit of my heart).
ps A quick postscript on the deposed World Champions, Spain, who were out played and out thought by Chile to condemn them to be the first holders of the tournament to be eliminated after just two games. Yes they have been poor, especially defensively but if you look at the players who did not play yesterday such as Fabregas and Mata and ones who did not even travel such as Llorente and Herrara – they still have a lot of top players to come again. I have no doubt they will. With two European Championships and one World Cup in six glorious years then a bad performance in a multi-team competition is one I’m sure they will take and use to make sure they come back stronger.
Colombia 1 Côte d’Ivoire 1
Uruguay 0 England 2
Japan 3 Greece 1
Let me know what you think – you can also tweet me @biggishmouth or go to my facebook page at www.facebook.com/thebiggishmouth