World Cup 2014: Group D – England, Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica

07/12/2013 no comments »
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Photo: Wembley National Stadium Ltd

07.12.2013. The groups and games for the World Cup 2014 are set and England will face Costa Rica, Italy and Uruguay in a cut throat Group D. Hodgson team will kick off the World Cup campaign on June 15th against Italy.

England’s group was quickly categorised as “The Group of Death” at the World Cup 2014. England has never previously beaten Italy or Uruguay at a major tournament, or faced Costa Rica. However, Group D is not a mission impossible. Hodgson’s team is certainly prepared for the challenge.

England vs Italy on June 15th, 2014 in Manaus

Italy is without a doubt the toughest match in Group D. Italy qualified unbeaten for the World Cup 2014 in a relatively easy group against Malta, San Marino, Bulgaria, Armenia, Denmark and Czech Republic. The Azzurri always performed at major tournaments and Prandelli’s team is picked with world class players such as Balotelli (Milan), Gilardino (Genoa), Pirlo (Juventus) and Rossi (Roma).

England faced the Italians at the Euro 2012 in Poland where Roy Hodgson’s side lost in the quarter-final after penalties. Italy went on to beat Germany and lost to Spain in the Euro final with 4:0. In 2013, Italy finished third at the Confederations Cup in Brazil beating Uruguay with 5:4. However, Italy is not an un-doable task for England and if England wants to belong to one of the world class teams in the world they will have to beat Italy.

England vs Uruguay on June 19th, 2014 in Sao Paulo

Uruguay is the surprise team of the last 4 years. The team of Óscar Tabárez finished 4th at the World Cup 2010 in South Africa after losing to Germany with 2:3. A year later, Uruguay won the Copa America for the first time in 16 years. The team is considered the best team in the last 4 decades and has a formidable attacking trident of Diego Forlan (International), Edinson Cavani (PSG) and Luis Suarez (Liverpool).

However, Uruguay struggled to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil and had to come through a play-off against Jordan. The last time, England faced Uruguay was in an international friendly in 2006, when England won at Anfield Road with 2:1 after goals by Joe Cole and Peter Crouch. Uruguay is certainly a challenge, but if England is able to control Uruguay’s creative and quick offensive power then Hodgson’s side will be successful against Suarez and Co.

England vs Costa Rica on June 24th, 2014 in Belo Horizonte

England has never met Costa Rica in a major tournament and Costa Rica will certainly be the easiest task for England. Costa Rica qualified in second place behind the United States in the CONCACAF region, but lost several games against the United States and Mexico. In the Gold Cup 2013, Costa Rica lost in the quarter-final to Honduras with 1:0.

However, Costa Rica’s squad is picked with international players for the Premier League such as Joel Campbell (Arsenal), Bryan Oviedo (Everton) and Junior Díaz (Mainz 05).

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