England v Uruguay – Suarez Return Means Goals
England v Uruguay
England v Uruguay could be the pivotal game in deciding who qualifies from Group D. Luis Suarez has been confirmed fit to start which could spell disaster for the English.
England had many positives to take from their opening match 2-1 defeat to Italy and, despite the loss, can still go into this game with a positive mindset. Although defensive frailties were once again exposed, and the lack of guile to break down Italy in the second half suggested that Roy Hodgson’s men are still some way from being considered amongst the best, the way they attacked, with pace and directness, in the first half suggests that they are capable of at least getting out of the group.
The Three Lions were arguably the better side until Claudio Marchisio gave Italy the lead on 35 minutes. But England responded immediately to equalise through Daniel Strurridge before fading in the second half and eventually losing out to a Mario Balotelli header.
Uruguay also suffered defeat in their opening game, but potentially a much more damaging one as they were taken apart by supposed whipping boys of the group Costa Rica. Edinson Cavani had put the South Americans in front, but goals from Arsenal’s Joel Campbell, and Oscar Duarte and Marco Urena condemned Óscar Tabárez’s men to a crushing defeat.
Uruguay are now the 3/1 outsiders of the group to qualify for the knockout stages, with England still odds-on at 10/11.
Wayne Rooney came in for some criticism for his disappointing performance against Italy, while there have also been calls for Hodgson to deploy England’s star player in a more central role. Regardless, it’s unlikely that the Manchester United striker will be dropped from the starting XI.
Luis Suarez has declared himself 100% fit for the game and will slot into the starting XI at the expense of Diego Forlan. Maxi Pereira was shown a red card in the final minutes of the defeat to Costa Rica and will therefore be suspended for this game.
The only meeting between the two sides this century came in a friendly back in 2006. England went behind in the first half to an Omar Pouso goal, but bounced back to win 2-1 thanks to strikes from Peter Crouch and Joe Cole. That was England’s first win against Uruguay since 1969.
Respective performances in the opening games mean that the support for England has been relentless in the betting markets and Hodgson’s men have been backed in from 9/5 to 6/5 in the space of a few days. There’s likely to be more cash backing England on the day of the game and we could see those odds hit Evens.
Although I do expect England to win, there’s now no value to be had in backing them.
Neither side boasts particularly reliable defences, so goals can be expected and Over 2.5 looks a much better value bet at odds of 10/11. Raheem Sterling has clearly been given license to shoot on sight and also looks a good bet at odds of 8/1 to score first and 9/4 to net anytime.