World Cup Group D Preview
By Grant Becker
Preview: Poor Costa Rica. The minnows from the CONCACAF region enter a ridiculous group. Uruguay won the first World Cup, and the only prior World Cup to be held in Brazil, and they always carry a never say die attitude. Italy is loaded with quality and the ability to shock the world. England come in with high expectations, as always. The Costa Ricans face a daunting task each and every time they take the field in Brazil. Strikers Wayne Rooney, Mario Balotelli, and Luis Suarez divide opinion around the world, but are all undeniably talented.
Key Game: England and Italy open up their World Cup campaigns against each other, and their respective fates could very well be decided in this crucial opening game. In a rematch of the 2012 Euro Quarterfinal match that went to penalties, English fans will be relieved that the match is allowed to end in a draw. Neither of these teams have the same attacking ability as Uruguay, making every chance to keep points from the other, and gain points themselves even more valuable. Make sure to tune in for this match.
X-Factor: When you search the name Luis Suarez, the first things you will see are ‘bite’ and ‘racist’. Surprisingly that list does not include cheater. Suarez had an unforgettable moment at the 2010 World Cup, denying a game-winning goal from Ghana with his hand, which eventually allowed his team a victory. This season Suarez score 31 Premier League goals, tied for the most all time in a 38 game season. What makes Suarez the X-Factor of the group is that he recently had knee surgery, and although his confidence is sky high, nobody truly knows how healthy Suarez is.
Prediction: Uruguay 7, Italy 7, England 3, Costa Rica 0. Uruguay and Italy will run the table but when they run into each other Italy’s hardnosed defense will clash with Uruguay’s pungent offense creating an unbreakable stalemate. Costa Rica will struggle no matter how well they play. England won’t be able to get Wayne Rooney going yet again and their fans will be as frustrated as ever.