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World Cup's Group 'D'eath; Three Champions, Two Spots.

Taken from dailymail.co.uk

Preview:

This group is something to look forward to in this year's World Cup. The rich history behind England, Italy and Uruguay make each team a competitor for the World Cup title. One can't imagine the thought of either team not making the top 16, but that's bound to happen this year. With the three super powers in the same group with Costa Rica it simply makes it a three nation race for two spot. Costa Rica simply does not have a fighting chance against either team.


Key Points:

Italy - A team that hasn't won a game since September is something to worry about heading into a World Cup group with Uruguay and England. Also, losing Riccardo Montolivo in the friendly earlier against the Republic of Ireland did not help out their chances. Italy has a problem with creating opportunities and scoring goals. They don't have that spark that they used to have with Del Piero and Inzaghi and will rely on Balotelli too much. If Balotelli has a poor World Cup then 31-year old Cassano will have to pick up the pieces but how far will that take the team? Past group stages? Maybe. But it surely won't get them past the round of 16. This is a weakened Italian team that will have many troubles getting out of the group of death. The Italian defense will have to steer them in the right direction.

Uruguay -  Now here is an example of a team with a scary striking force. Edison Cavani, Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan, and Abel Hernandez is a devastating rotation for any team they're facing. It will be interesting to see this team matched up with the Italian defense, to see if Suarez and Cavani can break through and shock the group by beating each country. The entire Uruguayan midfield is very experiences with the Gaston Ramirez having the least caps at 29. This midfield is used to each other and will be very comfortable playing with each other. Look for Uruguay to be one of the few complete teams competing in this World Cup.

Costa Rica - Yikes, well this team is in a pickle. Costa Rica is not an awful team, they made it to the World Cup, didn't they? This is a team that beat Mexico and the Unites States of America in Qualifiers. Unfortunately losing their top goal scorer in Alvaro Saborio, to injury, did not help. Their only seemingly goal scoring threat comes from their midfielder Celso Borges who 15 goals in 63 caps. He also hasn't scored more than one goal since August. That single goal was also a penalty... This is an underdog team, by far, and will not be able to make it out of the group unless they strike gold with a couple draws and maybe grab a win from a beat up England or Italy.

England - Oh the mighty Englishmen... I hope they prove me wrong but this might be the first time they don't make it out of the Group Stages in 20 years... This is a difficult one for the Brits. Leading the way, again, will be the dynamic duo in Gerrard and Lampard. Their combined 216 caps makes them the most played midfield pair since Bryan Robson and Ray Wilkins. Besides them two and James Milner with 47 caps, no midfielder on the team has more than 18 caps. This is a very young and very energetic team, but, with inexperience comes distrust and selfishness. Ross Barkley is looking absolutely dynamic in the send-off series leading up to the World Cup and Rooney is recovering his scoring touch. However, observing the Ecuador and Honduras matches it is relevant England needs to learn to put away close matches if they want to make a run in the tournament. Nonetheless, if they want to make it out of the group stages they have to find a way to win games, because draws will not get them to the round of 16

Matches & Predictions:

Matchup  Date  Time (-5:00) EST  Prediction 
 Uruguay vs. Costa Rica Sat, 14 June  3:00 pm  2-0
 England vs. Italy Sat, 14 June 6:00 pm  0-0
 Uruguay vs. England Thu, 19 June 3:00 pm  1-1
 Italy vs. Costa Rica Fri, 20 June 12:00 pm  1-0
 Italy vs. Uruguay Tue, 24 June 12:00 pm  0-1
 Costa Rica vs. England Tue, 24 June 12:00 pm  1-2

Final Table Prediction:

Team  GP  GF GA  GD  PTS 
 Uruguay  4  1   3 7
 England  3  2  1 5
 Italy  1  1  0  4
 Costa Rica  1   5  -4 0
By Alec Kleyer

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