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Match Previews

World Cup Preview: England v Uruguay

19 June 2014

After Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Italy in Manaus, England make the trip 1,700 miles south to the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo to face Uruguay on Thursday 19th June.

Uruguay were also beaten at the weekend, 3-1 by Costa Rica, ensuring this game has extra bite - the loser is likely to be dumped out of the competition after only two matches.

Costa Rica currently lead Group D on goal difference from Italy, both on three points, with England in third and Uruguay sitting bottom.

Team news

Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard both picked up knocks at the weekend but are expected to be fit to start in Sao Paulo. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain won't be involved despite his improved rehabilitation from a knee injury.

Striker Wayne Rooney's place is in doubt following criticism for his performance against Italy. Should Rooney start, manager Roy Hodgson has a decision to make over whether to keep the Manchester United forward on the left or move him to a central position.

Elsewhere in the England camp, physio Gary Lewin will not take his place on the substitutes bench following his freak injury in Manaus. Lewin slipped on a water bottle and fractured and dislocated his ankle, prematurely ending his World Cup.

Uruguay will be without captain Diego Lugano due to a knee injury, preventing the centre-back from training properly. Fellow defender Maxi Pereira is also missing through suspension after picking up a red card in their defeat to Costa Rica.

However, star-striker Luis Suarez, who missed their opening game, could return to the starting line-up, declaring himself 100% fit for the match.

Watch out for?

Raheem Sterling: The Liverpool youngster was arguably England's man of the match in their defeat to Italy, running with pace, taking on defenders and showing the form he displayed for his club team all season.

Luis Suarez: Sterling's club team-mate Suarez will be itching to play at Arena de Sao Paulo, but just how fit is the striker? He may say he is 100% fit, but his match sharpness might be lacking.

Uruguay fans: Approximately 20,000 La Celeste fans are expected to pack inside the 61,000-seater stadium, far more than their English counterparts.

Head-to-head

This encounter pits Uruguay, ranked seventh in the Fifa rankings, against 10th-placed England.

The two national teams have only twice before faced each other in a World Cup; Uruguay won 4-2 in 1954 before a 0-0 stalemate in 1966.

Their last meeting was in 2006 at Anfield, when England recovered from falling one goal behind to triumph 2-1 with efforts from Peter Crouch and Joe Cole.

Click here to read our England World Cup media talk


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