GMS academy member Graham Leydon has decided to profile how he thinks each and every one of the 48 group-stage clashes will unfold at a South American showpiece which is now under 24 hours away, continuing with Group D.
Group D is tricky. Uruguay have talent, but they might not be as strong as they were four years ago, even with a favourable climate and a certain Luis Suarez, who could miss out. While this may be a doubt within the team, they have the a strong defence and forward line, in midfield will be tough but they will still do enough to top the group, with five points on goal difference. A 4-1 win against Costa Rica, with two 1-1 draws against England and Italy.
Luis Suarez will score three, Diego Forlan will score one and Edinson Cavani will score two.
England do not carry much belief among their own fans, but it's hard to see why. The 2013-14 campaign has seen several youngsters making the leap, and the likes of Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge could play huge roles in Brazil. Despite this doubt, they will sneak through somehow, a 3-0 win against Costa Rica and two 1-1 draws against Italy and Uruguay will be enough to seal the place in the last 16.
The Italians, on the other hand, are waiting on their youngsters to step up, with Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia de Sciglio having seen their progress halted by injuries. This could impact them, plus, with Mario Balotelli not in the best mindset and Giuseppe Rossi out, it's hard to say how good the Italian strike-force could be.
While they have a strong defence and midfield it's upfront that is their difference maker. As a result they will finish third; goal difference will knock them out. The game against England could be crucial, the winner of that game will go through. They will win 3-1 against Costa Rica and draw 1-1 against England and Uruguay, which will knock them out.
Costa Rica, despite some impressive individual players, will not have much luck as a team sadly. They will finish bottom with no points, with a 4-1 loss to Uruguay, 3-0 loss to England and 3-1 loss to Uruguay. Joel Campbell and Celso Borges will score a goal each.
Predicted final group standings:
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Uruguay 3 1 2 0 6 3 +3 5
England 3 1 2 0 5 2 +3 5
Italy 3 1 2 0 5 3 +2 5
Costa Rica 3 0 0 3 2 10 -8 0
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