There has been much speculation regarding all aspects of the Brazil 2014 World Cup in recent months.
However, with the draw for group stages complete, we now have a whole new aspect of the upcoming World Cup to deliberate over.
Group D reads: England, Italy, Uruguay, Costa Rica.
Not the easiest of draws for the Three Lions, evidently, judging by FIFA world rankings. With Uruguay and Italy placed and 6th and 7th respectively, and Costa Rica coming in at a respectable 31st, you would think that the chances of England going through would be slim- especially given some relatively weak performances in the qualifying stages. However, some preposterous claims on various social networking sites are already being made regarding England’s chances in Brazil.
People seem to respect Italy, given their talented footballing history and subsequent status as a footballing ‘world power’. It is Uruguay, though, who are being overlooked by some would-be football ‘fans’ that seem to have missed out on the fact that they have some top names in modern football, hailing from some of the world’s top leagues- most notably of course, Luis Suarez; who, this season for Liverpool, has been prolific in front of goal (as well as up to 40 yards away from it). Los Charrúas last met with Italy just a few months ago, in an evenly contested 3rd place Confederations Cup match, in which they narrowly lost on penalties after a 2-2 draw at 90 minutes. This match followed Uruguay’s semi-final defeat to Brazil after an unfortunate 86th minute Paulinho goal.
Italy’s footballing feats are more widely known. Their footballing ability speaks for itself- as does England’s, in a not-so-well-respected manner, an issue highlighted by several critics perhaps over-expectant of the team in the last couple of decades. Despite this, many of the England supporters are once again hopeful of victory next summer, in the group stages at the very least. It is probably worth warning these fans that although a consistently solid team effort would be a welcome change in this World Cup, those vital three points may be elusive without some star performances from the England squad.
Costa Rica are not to be underestimated either- they put in some worthwhile displays in the qualifiers, not least against Mexico and the USA, where they won both home ties. Put simply, it is worth being realistic about England’s odds in Brazil. I would love to see them do as well in a major tournament as everybody seems to believe they will - nevertheless, June 14th 2014 could be an eye-opening day for many fans as England take on Italy in the nation’s first fixture.
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