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08.06.2014 » World Cup Group D preview: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy

FIFA World Cup 2014 Group D wallpaper

Group D isn't called this tournament's "Group of Death" by chance, as within the 4 teams that were drawn there, 3 of them are former World Champions. Costa Rica, Uruguay, England and Italy will battle for a place in the sun, but only two of them will make it to the last-16 stage.

Several big games await us in Group D, with emblematic nations such Uruguay, England, Italy and why not Costa Rica, all getting in line to try qualifying into the knockout stages of this summer's FIFA World Cup. We've had 8 different countries getting crowned World Champions in the history of this game and this group containing 3 of them (Uruguay, England and Italy) probably speaks volumes in terms of assessing its expected competitiveness and difficulty level. While Italy has already won this major tournament in 4 different times in the past (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006), Uruguay clinched the title in 2 occasions (1930, 1950) and England only once (1966). With such an impressive list of past conquers in their "resume", Costa Rica can't help but to feel like they are the poor cousin in this group. Our favorites to finish on the top two spots of Group D are Uruguay and England.

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy:

Uruguay

The Uruguay National Team can be extremely proud of going into their 12th appearances in a final stage of a World Cup, as well as having already won two WC titles in the past. They are currently ranked 7th in the FIFA World Rankings table, but are still surprisingly under-estimated in the sports bookmakers markets, where they are only regarded as the 10th strongest favorite to win this World Cup and paying odds of 29.

Two good reasons why almost every bookie seem to be playing down Uruguay's chances of being sucessful in this World Cup is first of all the fact that they were drawn into an extremely complicated group, with England and Italy standing as their theoretical toughest opponents. The second reason has to do with them having struggled so much to qualify to Brazil. Uruguay couldn't go beyond a 5th place in the CONMEBOL qualifiers, which ended up forcing them playing a 2-leg playoff against a quite soft opponent like New Zealand. They didn't slip in the decisive moment though and they made sure they weren't going to miss the party this summer in Brazil.

Few can certainly argue against the claim that one of the biggest strengths of Uruguay resides in their attack. With players like Liverpool's Luis Suarez, PSG's Edinson Cavani and the veteran Diego Forlan, this team will be a force to reckon in the upcoming World Cup.

Uruguay National Team coach:
Óscar Tabárez

Uruguay 23-men squad list for the World Cup
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera, Martin Silva, Rodrigo Munoz
Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira, Diego Lugano, Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez, Sebastian Coates, Martin Caceres, Jorge Fucile
Midfielders: Alvaro Gonzalez, Alvaro Pereira, Walter Gargano, Egidio Arevalo Rios, Diego Perez, Cristian Rodriguez, Gaston Ramirez, Nicolas Lodeiro
Forwards: Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Abel Hernandez, Diego Forlan, Christian Stuani

Probable line-up/starting eleven for the World Cup:
Uruguay XI: Muslera; Maxi Pereira, Lugano, Diego Godin, Caceres; Alvaro Pereira, Gargano, Lodeiro; Suarez, Cavani, Forlan.

Uruguay - World Cup group matches:
-> June 14: Uruguay vs Costa Rica
-> June 19: Uruguay vs England
-> June 24: Italy vs Uruguay

Uruguay National Team celebrating in the World Cup

 

Costa Rica

It's not like Costa Rica will be arriving to this World Cup as a debutant side, but they're also far from what we can call a very experienced team, used to walk around all the big fishes. With this qualification for Brazil, this Central American squad will make their 4th appearance in these final rounds of a World Cup, but they don't seem to stand many realistic chances of going all the way to the ultimate glory on July 13, and a good sign of that is that they've been giving odds of 2501 for accomplishing such feat.

Costa Rica is currently in the 28th spot in the FIFA World Rankings standings and in order to qualify for Brazil, they finished 2nd in the CONCACAF group stage, ahead of teams like the Honduras and Mexico, but behind the United States of America. The team's biggest star is Bryan Ruiz from PSV Eindhoven, a very talented attacking midfielder with a valuable experience in the English Premier League and in the Dutch league.

Costa Rica National Team coach:
Jorge Luis Pinto

Costa Rica 23-men squad list for the World Cup
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Patrick Pemberton, Daniel Cambronero
Defenders: Giancarlo González, Jhonny Acosta, Michael Umaña, Roy Miller, Óscar Duarte, Junior Díaz, Cristian Gamboa, Heiner Mora, Waylon Francis
Midfielders: Yeltsin Tejeda, José Miguel Cubero, Óscar Esteban Granados, Celso Borges, Michael Barrantes, Christian Bolaños, Diego Calvo
Forwards: Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell, Randall “Chiqui” Brenes, Marco Ureña

Probable line-up/starting eleven for the World Cup:
Costa Rica XI: Navas; Gamboa, González, Díaz, Miller; Umaña, Tejeda, Borges, Bolaños; Campbell, Bryan Ruiz.

Costa Rica - World Cup group matches:
-> June 14: Uruguay vs Costa Rica
-> June 20: Italy vs Costa Rica
-> June 24: Costa Rica vs England

Bryan Ruiz from Costa Rica set to shine at the World Cup 2014

 

England

Roy Hodgson's team arrives to this World Cup with the expectations lower than usual and that's something that can end up playing in their favor. England has only won the FIFA World Cup once (1966, when they hosted the tournament in their own country), but they are one of the teams with more past appearances in this stage (14 if we already count with this year's participation).

The English National Team is also the 10th strongest team on Earth according to the FIFA World Rankings and in the event of winning the World Cup this summer, any money placed on them will yield its investor 29 times more. They qualified to Brazil without feeling the taste of defeat, after getting the better of teams like Ukraine, Montenegro and Poland.

In Brazil, England will necessarily aspire to get their hands on the much-wanted trophy on July 13. They seem to count with a good mix of fresh talent and experienced/veterans in their squad, but in order to increase their chances of success in this World Cup, they must improve their consistency in performances as the tournament progresses. Frank Lampar, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney will be crucial in terms of setting the example to the rest of the squad...

England National Team coach:
Roy Hodgson

England 23-men squad list for the World Cup
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Ben Foster, Fraser Forster
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling
Midfielders: Ross Barkley, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere
Forwards: Rickie Lambert, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Daniel Welbeck

Probable line-up/starting eleven for the World Cup:
England XI: Joe Hart; Baines, Cahill, Jagielka, Luke Shaw; Milner, Steven Gerrard, Barkley, Wilshere; Wayne Rooney, Sturridge.

England - World Cup group matches:
-> June 14: England vs Italy
-> June 19: Uruguay vs England
-> June 24: Costa Rica vs England

The England National Team ready for the FIFA World Cup 2014

 

Italy

The "Squadra Azzurra" is nothing less than the second most succesful team in the FIFA World Cup history. They've won this tournament in 4 different occasions in the past (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006) and they are only one title away from tying with Brazil and their 5 trophies. This summer, Italy will make their 18th apperance in World Cup editions and nothing would please more the Italian "tifosi" than repeating their 2006 success.

Italy is currently sitting in ninth place at the FIFA World Ranking table and the likelihood of them winning the World Cup is being rated by bookmakers experts with odds of 26. Nevertheless and according to the same professional analysts, they are the favorites to finish on top of Group D by June 24, immediately followed by England and only then Uruguay.

Italy's very defensive playing style has been their trademark for a long time now, but the "Catenaccio" seems to already have passed his prime both on a club and international level. Unlike what happened in many previous editions, Italy will land in Brazil without any major superstar in their ranks. The closest they have these days is the highly controversial AC Milan's Mario Balotelli, but the Italian forward has been far from showing the consistency that is required to be considered a true World-class football player.

Italy National Team coach:
Cesare Prandelli

Italy 23-men squad list for the World Cup
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Salvatore Sirigu, Mattia Perin
Defenders: Ignazio Abate, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Matteo Darmian, Mattia De Sciglio, Gabriel Paletta
Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani, Antonio Candreva, Daniele De Rossi, Claudio Marchisio, Thiago Motta, Marco Parolo, Andrea Pirlo, Marco Verratti
Forwards: Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, Alessio Cerci, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne

Probable line-up/starting eleven for the World Cup:
Italy XI: Buffon; Abate, Chiellini, Barzagli, De Sciglio; Pirlo, Verrati, De Rossi, Marchisio; Ciro Immobile, Mario Balotelli.

Italy - World Cup group matches:
-> June 14: England vs Italy
-> June 20: Italy vs Costa Rica
-> June 24: Italy vs Uruguay

Italy's Mario Balotelli and Andrea Pirlo set for the 2014 World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo's next game will be the last friendly before the World Cup, between Portugal and Ireland, scheduled for the 10th of June of 2014, in New Jersey (United States). You can watch Juventus live stream, Portugal vs Ireland, Spain vs Netherlands, Brazil vs Croatia, and Chile vs Australia, all matches provided from our World Cup live stream pages.

Portugal next game:
Portugal vs Ireland
kick-off time (10-06-2014):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 06:45
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 01:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 00:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-3: 20:45
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 19:45
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7 16:45
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 07:45

Sources: ronaldo7.net / foxsports.com / fifa.com

Uruguay home and away shirts for the FIFA World Cup 2014:
Uruguay jerseys kits in the World Cup 2014

Costa Rica home and away shirts for the FIFA World Cup 2014:Costa Rica jerseys kits in the World Cup 2014

England home and away shirts for the FIFA World Cup 2014:
England jerseys kits in the World Cup 2014

Italy home and away shirts for the FIFA World Cup 2014:
Italy jerseys kits in the World Cup 2014

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