Group D World Cup 2014

World Cup 2014 Group D

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GROUP D

Uruguay Costa Rica England Italy

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Uruguay

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Uruguay came through South American qualifying via a one-sided play off with Jordan after finishing 5th in the standings, but are one of the bookies' favorites to go far in this tournament. La Celeste can boast one of the top strike forces in the 2014 World Cup, up there with neighbors Argentina, with a line-up including Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani and Diego Forlan, though the latter is now playing at a lower level with Cerezo Osaka in the J-League, and will probably come off the bench.

At the back Diego Godin has had a wonderful season with Atletico Madrid, but the same could not be said of Diego Lugano at WBA in the Premiership. It is in midfield and in goal that Uruguay lack conviction. Fernando Muslera, now at Galatasaray in Turkey, is adequate but not great and the first choice midfield are basically bench warmers with the smaller clubs in Europe.

Fixtures

Uruguay team jersey kit 1 (c) Soccerphile. Uruguay team jersey kit 2 (c) Soccerphile.

Uruguay Kit 1
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Uruguay Kit 2
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Uruguay v Costa Rica 14 June; Fortaleza
Uruguay v England 19 June; Sao Paulo
Uruguay v Italy 24 June; Natal

Coach

Oscar Tabarez

Record

1962, 1994, 1998 First Round; 1990 Second Round

FIFA Ranking

Men to watch

Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani.

Predictions & Latest Odds

We are backing Uruguay to make it out of the group at England's expense.
World Cup 2014 Betting

How they qualified

Uruguay qualified through the play offs from the South American CONMEBOL zone.

On the sidelines

Oscar Tabarez is the longest-serving manager in Uruguay's history.

Analysis

Uruguay Team Profile

Squad

Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad)

Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica), Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion), Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Jorge Fucile (Porto)

Midfielders: Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio), Alvaro Pereira (Sao Paulo), Walter Gargano (Parma), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Morelia), Diego Perez (Bologna), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo)

Strikers: Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain), Abel Hernandez (Palermo), Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka), Christian Stuani (Espanyol)


Costa Rica

Costa Rica talk about actually winning the World Cup but in fact they will not exit a very tough group including three previous winners of the trophy. The Ticos have a good squad but have been unlucky in the draw. Keylor Navas in goal and Joel Campbell plus Byran Ruiz in attack are quality players but overall the squad lacks depth and will be found out in their match ups with their heavyweight opponents. Costa Rica could be party-poopers but we see them going home pointless and pounded. Look out for tactical innovation as Costa Rica play five at the back.

Fixtures

Costa Rica team jersey kit 1 (c) Soccerphile. Costa Rica team jersey kit 2 (c) Soccerphile.

Costa Rica Kit 1
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Costa Rica Kit 2
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Costa Rica v Uruguay 14 June; Fortaleza
Costa Rica v Italy 20 June; Recife
Costa Rica v England 24 June; Belo Horizonte

Coach

Jorge Luis Pinto

Record

2002, 2006 First Round; 1990 Second Round

FIFA Ranking

Men to watch

Arsenal striker Joel Campbell is sure to attract attention from other clubs if he has a successful tournament.

Predictions & Latest Odds

We predict Costa Rica will not get out of the group (They ended up winning it!).

How they qualified

Costa Rica came second in the CONCACAF Qualifying Zone behind USA.

On the sidelines

Costa Rica are based in Santos, 60km outside Sao Paulo, at the Mendez Plaza Hotel. Loc Ticos were undefeated at home in the final round of qualification for World Cup 2014.

Analysis

Costa Rica Team Profile

Squad

Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas (Levante), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense) Daniel Cambronero (Herediano)

Defenders: Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus Crew), Michael Umana (Saprissa), Oscar Duarte (Bruges), Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew), Heiner Mora (Saprissa), Junior Diaz (Mainz 05), Christian Gamboa (Rosenborg), Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls)

Midfielders: Celso Borges (AIK), Christian Bolanos (Copenhagen), Diego Calvo (Valerenga), Esteban Granados (Herediano), Michael Barrantes (Aalesund), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa), Jose Miguel Cubero (Herediano)

Forwards: Bryan Ruiz (PSV Eindhoven, on loan from Fulham), Joel Campbell (Olympiakos, on loan from Arsenal), Randall Brenes (Cartagines), Marco Urena (FC Kuban Krasnodar)


England

England enter this World Cup without a lot of the hype of previous tournaments. Coach Roy Hodgson has gone for a young squad with Luke Shaw replacing Ashley Cole at left back and places for his Southampton colleagues Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert. Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling are also exciting picks alongside captain Steven Gerrard and young tyro Ross Barkley of Everton. Wayne Rooney owes the side a decent performance since his last good tournament at Euro 2004 a decade ago.

Fixtures

England team jersey kit 1 (c) Soccerphile. England team jersey kit 2 (c) Soccerphile.

England Kit 1
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England Kit 2
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England v Italy 14 June; Manaus
England v Uruguay 19 June; Sao Paulo
England v Costa Rica; 24 June; Belo Horizonte

Coach

Roy Hodgson

Record

1950, 1958 First round; 1982 1998, 2010 Second Round; 1954, 1962, 1970, 1986, 2002, 2006 Quarter Finals; 1990 Fourth place; 1966 Champions

FIFA Ranking

Men to watch

Adam Lallana has taken well to international football. Wayne Rooney needs to show he can shine at this level.

How they qualified

England won Group H by a point from Ukraine after a long, hard struggle in a tight group.

On the sidelines

England base at the Royal Tulip Hotel in Rio, in a city where the majority of their supporters will also stay.

Analysis

England Team Profile

Squad

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Strikers: Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)

Italy

Italy outplayed England at Euro 2012 in Ukraine/Poland and also defeated Uruguay at the 2013 Confederations Cup on penalties in the 3rd place play off and we expect more of the same in Brazil, with the Azzurri favorites with the bookmakers to not lose out to either of their biggest rivals in the group. Italy are hoping to make up for a poor showing at World Cup 2010 in South Africa and in goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo and Roma enforcer Daniele de Rossi, they possess the quality to top the group. Further progress depends on the form of strikers Mario Balotelli and Ciro Immobile, the latter the top scorer in Serie-A for Torino.

Fixtures

Italy team jersey kit 1 (c) Soccerphile. Italy team jersey kit 2 (c) Soccerphile.

Italy Kit 1
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Italy Kit 2
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Italy v England v 14 June; Manaus
Italy v Costa Rica 19 June; Recife
Italy v Uruguay 24 June; Natal

Coach

Cesare Prandelli

Record

1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1974, 2010 First Round; 1986, 2002 Second Round; 1998 Quarter Finals; 1978 fourth place; 1990 Third place; 1970, 1994 Runners up; 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006 Champions.

FIFA Ranking

Men to watch

Claudio Marchisio is dynamic and had a good season for champions Juventus. Teammate Giorgio Chiellini gives no prisoners at the back.

How they qualified

Came top of European qualifying Group B, scoring 19 goals and conceding 9 with six wins and no losses.

On the sidelines

Italy will base south of Rio in Mangaratiba but have long journeys for all three of their group games.

Analysis

Italy Team Profile

Squad

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St Germain), Mattia Perin (Genoa).

Defenders: Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorigo Chiellini (all Juventus), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), Ignazio Abate, Mattia De Sciglio (both AC Milan), Matteo Darmian (Torino).

Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio (both Juventus), Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti (both Paris St Germain), Marco Parolo (Parma), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina)

Strikers: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)