The 2014 World Cup hopes of both England and Uruguay go on the line in Sao Paulo tomorrow, with both sides needing at least a point to stand any chance of qualifying for the second round of the tournament.
Uruguay started their 2014 World Cup campaign with a disappointing loss to Group D outsiders Costa Rica and will need to improve significantly on that performance, while England were outplayed by an Andrea Pirlo-led Italy.
This game is one of the most anticipated clashes of the remaining pool games in the 2014 World Cup and Ladbrokes Australia are offering a wide range of betting markets for what is sure to be an intriguing contest.
How They Will Play
England were far from disgraced in their opening loss to Italy and coach Roy Hodgson is likely to go into this game with a similar side. Wayne Rooney generally played out on the left hand side of the pitch in England’s opening game and he set up Daniel Sturridge’s goal, but Rooney was exposed defensively out wide on a number of occasions. Hodgson is likely to return Rooney to the number ten role, in behind Sturridge, that he has typically played for England and it may give the Manchester United striker his best opportunity to score a World Cup goal.
England leftback Leighton Baines did not produce his best against Italy, but the Everton stalwart will retain his position alongside Glenn Johnson, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka at the back. The Three Lions looked dangerous at set pieces against Italy and they will be keen to get the dangerous Baines involved in these as often as possible.
There has been speculation that Hodgson may attempt to find a place for Frank Lampard in the starting 11, but Steven Gerrard and Lampard have rarely played with each other for England and the experienced gaffer will likely retain Gerrard’s Liverpool teammate Jordan Henderson, while Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling will run off Rooney on the wing.
Key Player – Wayne Rooney
If England are going to make it through to the second round of the 2014 World Cup they are going to need Rooney to step up in their remaining two Group matches. Rooney showed what he is capable off at times against Italy, but Hodgson will be looking for a more consistent performance from England’s all-time top goalscorer.
How They Will Play
Oscar Tabarez has a number of key decisions to make heading into this game and what he decides could go a long way to deciding who will win this clash. The Uruguayan defense was shaky against Costa Rica and Tabarez is likely to bring in Diego Fucile in the place of the suspended Maxi Pereira, while he will be expecting an improved performance from Diego Godin and Diego Lugano at the centre of defense.
The x-factor in this is Uruguay striker Luis Suarez and Tabarez is reportedly still deliberately whether to start the Liverpool star against England tomorrow morning. Diego Forlan struggled to have an impact against Costa Rica and the combination of Suarez and Edinson Cavani was lethal in qualifying, but Tabarez is not overly keen to risk Suarez if he is not at peak fitness.
Uruguay will likely sit back and play on the counter attack against England and the likes of Christian Stuani and Egidio Arvevalo Rios will be looking to expose Leighton Baines on the left hand side of the English defense as Italy were able to do last weekend.
Key Player – Luis Suarez
Suarez is no certainty to be given a starting berth, but his performance if selected will be a key factor in this game. Suarez will be fired up to play well against his Liverpool teammates in the English side, but the fiery striker will need to maintain his cool and composure if he is going to help keep Uruguay’s 2014 World Cup campaign alive.
It is vital that neither of these teams lose this clash and that may lead to some conservative football from both sides. Uruguay will be happy to give England possession and hit them on the break, so it may be up to England to dictate how this game will be played.
If England takes the attack to Uruguay they should be able to score their first victory of the 2014 World Cup and qualify for the second round, but England have a habit off performing poorly when forced to play on the front foot.
England vs Uruguay World Cup Betting Plays
There is not as much between these two sides as their odds suggest and England are far too short at their quote of $2 with Ladbrokes.com.au, while the odds on offer for the draw seem just about right at $3.25. That makes Uruguay the value betting option in this game at a quote of $3.40 and it may be worth taking that price as soon as possible as their odds will shorten if Suarez is confirmed as a starter.
World Cup Betting Promotions
Leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au are offering promotions on a number of 2014 World Cup clashes and their headline offer is available for this clash. Punters looking to back an England win can take advantage of the $3.75 on offer for Wayne Rooney to score at any time and England to win, while odds of $4.5 are on offering for Edinson Cavani to score at any time and Uruguay to win.