England v Uruguay: what happens if England lose?

Jun 19, 2014
Jonathan Harwood

Tonight's match is not only about Rooney and Suarez, there are other things to consider


Update, 10pm: England's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Uruguay, and specifically Luis Suarez, has ushered them towards the exit sign, but unlike Spain they could still have something to play for in the final group game – as long as there is a winner in the game between Italy and Costa Rica tomorrow. If England lose and Italy win, then a convincing win over Costa Rica in the final match, combined with a win for Italy over Uruguay could put England through. 

England v Uruguay: key factors that could decide the game

19 June

Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney have dominated the build-up to England's crucial Group D World Cup clash with Uruguay tonight. Suarez is reported to be fit following knee surgery last month and will return to the Uruguay team, while Rooney is expected to be restored to his preferred number ten position in the centre of the pitch behind Daniel Sturridge.

How those two men perform will have a major bearing on the outcome of the game, but there are several other factors to take into account.

Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan With all the talk about the return of Luis Suarez it is easy to overlook the presence of Edinson Cavani in the Uruguay team. The lesser partner in La Celeste's strikeforce cost Paris Saint-Germain a cool £50m last summer, making him the sixth most expensive footballer ever. He scores at a rate of a goal every other game and found the net during the defeat against Costa Rica, albeit from the penalty spot. If England take their eyes off him for one second then they could pay. Forlan, meanwhile, may be 35, but he was player of the tournament in 2010 and is not to be trifled with.

Uruguay absences Suarez may be back in the fold, but Uruguay have been rocked by the loss of their captain and centre-back Diego Lugano with a knee injury. They will also be without another defender, Maxi Pereira, who was sent off in the closing stages of the defeat to Costa Rica. With Uruguay's defence already regarded as suspect England may take heart from the absences.

England's line-up Switching Raheem Sterling out wide to accommodate Rooney in the middle will not cause problems for the young Liverpool man, who is seen primarily as a winger. He could start on the right, with club-mate Glen Johnson behind him. Johnson's form has been an issue, and he and fellow full-back Leighton Baines have given England cause for concern. Once again England strength lies in attack rather than defence.

America vs Europe Much has been made of the fact that the tournament is taking place in South America, but the old hoodoo could still be working. Of the nine matches between teams from the Americas and those from other continents so far in this World Cup the New World teams have won seven. The most notable result being Chile’s defeat of Spain. The two exceptions were France's victory over unfancied Honduras and Switzerland's late win against Ecuador. England would be claiming a major scalp for Europe if they do beat Uruguay.

The weather After the stifling heat and humidity of Manaus, England will feel much more at home in Sao Paulo. It has been raining since England arrived in Brazil's biggest city on Wednesday and the temperature at kick off tonight is forecast to be around 16C. It will feel like home out on the pitch.

The crowd The Arena Corinthians holds 66,000 fans, and only 5,000 of them will be from England. By contrast there will be 20,000 Uruguayans backing their side, after making the 750-mile trip across South America. However, many Brazilians still hold a grudge against Uruguay that dates back to the 1950 World Cup, won by La Celeste rather than the hosts. They may lend their support to England.


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