AFTER a narrow defeat to Italy on Saturday night, England have it all to do in their second game against Uruguay tonight.
It was a decent performance from the Three Lions at the weekend, but they paid for not taking their chances.
Now, they need a result against Uruguay to have hope of making the last 16.
Uruguay were upset in their first game, going down 3-1 to Costa Rica – but will it mean England are facing a lame duck or a wounded animal?
Chris Wiseman, from Poole, is representing England for the Daily Echo’s World Cup coverage.
He said: “After the recent disappointment of not picking up any points against Italy after playing probably England’s best performance for a while, I am looking forward to what could be a group decider against Uruguay.
“Looking back at the Italy game, I think there should be – and I’m sure and many other passionate England fans would like to see – a minor change in the starting 11.
“I am of course talking about Wayne Rooney.
“Despite a great cross to set up a sweet goal from Sturridge, I saw little more from our number 10.
“The left side was exposed time and time again. He could be forgiven as it wasn’t his preferred position but never the less, a less than world-class game from a player who is quite happy to take world-class wages.
“On a positive note, players such as Sterling, going forward and nearly giving us a dream start in five minutes, and Welbeck, who tracked back to retrieve balls on numerous occasions, were a delight to watch and as a fan gave me a hope that we could actually win this game.
“However, as I have mentioned before, our defence is a little suspect – maybe the dropping of experienced Ashley Cole before the world cup wasn’t such a good gamble after all?
“Moving forward to our game against Uruguay, it looks like its set up to be a showdown of ‘loser goes home’.
“Have we enough to beat the Uruguayans? Yes, of course we have. As a certain Mrs Sturridge has said recently, mash it up son!
“If we play as we did against Italy and play Rooney behind our striker, put Sterling on left with his pace and Welbeck on the right and let them swap around from time to time to keep Uruguay on their toes, I can certainly see goals coming from England.
“Defensively we need to be strong and keep one eye on the dangerous Luis Suarez, even if it means letting Steven Gerrard breath down his neck for the whole game.
“I’m going to stick my neck out on this one and say it’s going to be 3-0l to England; a statement not really associated with our national team in World Cups, but I do believe if they play to their ability and put in a performance similar to Italy game then I can see us taking that vital three points and set up that game against Costa Rica.
“Now it’s time to for our boys to be let loose, kiss their England badges and roar!”
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Before the eyes of the country focus on Sao Paulo to cheer on Roy Hodgson’s men, Columbia meet Ivory Coast in Group C.
Both teams will be feeling confident, having won 3-0 and 2-1 respectively in their first matches.
The teams that they beat, Japan and Greece, meet in Natal at 11pm, hoping to get their first points on the board.
Bournemouth University student Giannis Cottrell is supporting his native Greece.
He said: “Both teams have suffered a defeat already. Greece’s defence was torn apart by Colombia (3-0) while Japan lost from Ivory Coast (2-1).
“Concerning the game with Colombia, I was disappointed. Greece had possession for most of the time but Colombia just managed to complete its attacks with a goal each time.
“Greece needs two wins in order to pass to the next phase. The only threat to the team is Japan’s Keisuke Honda.
“I think that the national team is formed by skilful and experienced players such as Dimitris Salpigidis and Basilis Torosidis.
“If they all get themselves together, regain their confidence and co-ordinate their moves I think the outcome will be very positive.
“Japan is known for a fast pace game play and Fernando Santos (the coach) is making the necessary preparations.
“There’s still hope to pass to the phase of 16.”
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