Football

England's key to success will be pace and precision

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Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck could be key. (©GettyImages)
Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck could be key. (©GettyImages).

Despite a harrowing 2-1 defeat to Italy in their opening game, England can take some positives away from the performance. They certainly brought the game to the Italians and for much of the match looked like going on to score had their end product been better in the final third. 

Throughout the game the Italians struggled to deal with England's pacey attack consisting of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Danny Welbeck. Taking into account the quality of Italy's defenders, England should prove a handful for a relatively weak Uruguayan defence. 

Improvement of final ball key vs Uruguay

England will certainly be hoping for an improved performance from their captain Steven Gerrard after he struggled to cope with the Italian midfield movement. His ability to pick a pass will be crucial to England being able to break quickly from deep against the Uruguayans on Thursday night. 

Of course much of the spotlight will be England's world class talent Wayne Rooney in this fixture as he will need to put in a big showing following a below par one against Italy. Rooney showed a glimpse of what he can provide England with following his inch perfect pass to set up Sturridge for England's equaliser. 

Vulnerable English defence

Much build up to the game against Uruguay will focus on the quality of their attack which will be revitalised following the return of Luis Suarez. This could be cause for concern for English fans as England's defence looked leaky at times during the Italian game and we all know what will happen if you give Suarez's half a chance within 25 yards of goal. If England can stay disciplined in defence with the Gerrard and Henderson offering protection to the back four, then they have the ability to break quickly and catch out Uruguay. Given Uruguay's woeful display against Costa Rica, England should come out with a victory provided they show the same attacking intent witnessed against the Italians. 

Importance of subs for England

There may come a stage on Thursday where England are struggling to break down the Uruguayans and Roy Hodgson looks to the bench for some creative inspiration. This is where Ross Barkley, Jack Wilshere and Adam Lallana can stake their claim to be in the starting line up. Having struggled to have much of an effect against Italy when they came on, these players could save England's World Cup hopes with one piece of magic we know any one of them can provide. Of the three to come on, Barkley looked the most impressive and it wouldn't be surprising to see him included in place of Welbeck in the next starting line up. 

Confidence is key 

England's players obviously have the ability to qualify from their group but their success will be determined by the level of confidence they play with. If England can impose themselves in the opening minutes against Uruguay in Rio then they have a real chance of going onto win and qualify from their group 

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Topics:
World Cup
Danny Welbeck
England Football
Football
Daniel Sturridge
Adam Lallana
Jack Wilshere
Wayne Rooney
Steven Gerrard
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