Round 2 for Group D is going to feature the key matches for the group. Read on for my preview and prediction in these two World Cup matches where Costa Rica is at the top followed by Italy, England, and Uruguay.
Group D plays their next two matches on Thursday, June 19 and Friday, June 20. Both matches will be broadcast live on ESPN and Univision.
Uruguay v England – Thursday, June 19 @ 3pm
This has become a must win match for the two teams who are currently without a win in the group. After the first round of matches, England looked like the better team, but still have nothing to show for it.
In their 2-1 loss to Italy the Three Lions looked lively at times, however, they failed in many ways. While a few players did look good, there were too many that did not, including both Gerrard and Rooney. At least Rooney has an excuse considering how he was played out of position. Much of the discussion leading up this second match involves where Wayne Rooney will be played. In my opinion, he needs to be played in either a 9 or 10 role, either up front, or just behind the striker. He is a player who should be utilized in the area where he is the strongest.
On the other side of the pitch will be Uruguay who have a lot of talent, but plenty of struggles at the back. While Luis Suarez is set to start, there are still questions about just how fit and ready he will be. It seems that if he was truly fit, he would have been put on in their opening 3-1 loss to Costa Rica. Still, Suarez is good enough that he can cause England’s defense plenty of problems.
My prediction is a scoring draw. It could have several goals on both sides as well. Uruguay has some defensive problems, probably more so than England. England had difficulties converting their chances against Italy, but could fare better this time around.
Italy v Costa Rica – Friday, June 20 @ 12:00pm
Italy and Costa Rica are the only two teams to win in this group so far. While Italy have the better team on paper, they cannot underestimate their opponents. Costa Rica showed that they can be a very dangerous opponent and one that is not afraid to go out and attack in a game. Their main goal scoring threat has been Joel Campbell who really shown against Uruguay.
Italy have many attacking options, but everything goes through Pirlo, which is nothing new. It will be interesting to see how Costa Rica is able to cope with this, considering how England did not.
I’m predicting an Italy win, but there is every chance that Costa Rica shocks everyone and gets a result. Even a draw for them would be quite a feat and one that would keep the second in Group D.