Predicting England's World Cup Group Games vs. Uruguay, Costa Rica and Italy

Rob Pollard@@RobPollard_Featured ColumnistDecember 6, 2013

COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 06:  England manager Roy Hodgson attends the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Costa do Sauipe Resort on December 6, 2013 in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

The draw for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil has been made and England have been placed in Group D alongside Uruguay, Costa Rica and Italy.

The World Cup is the biggest football tournament on the planet, and England have struggled to get beyond the quarter-finals in many of their recent attempts.

Avoiding Brazil, Spain, Germany and Argentina was exactly what England would have wanted, but with Uruguay and Italy in their group, it will be far from an easy task.

June 14—England vs. Italy

England's campaign kicks off with a tough opener against Italy, a side more than capable of winning the tournament. Mario Balotelli will lead the Italian attack, with the imperious Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi in midfield.

It was, of course, Italy who knocked England out of Euro 2012 on penalties after being comfortably the better side throughout the match, and England will struggle to get off to a winning start in this one.

Prediction: England 0-1 Italy

World Cup group draw
World Cup group drawBleacher Report


June 19—England vs. Uruguay

Next up is Luis Suarez's Uruguay. It will be a stern test of England's credentials, but with Italy in the group, they need to get maximum points. The South Americans have a wealth of attacking options, with Suarez assisted by Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan. They are capable of scoring goals and hurting Roy Hodgson's men.

However, their lack of quality in other areas can be exploited, and despite them being better suited to the conditions, England should have enough to beat them.

Prediction: England 2-1 Uruguay

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19:  (L-R) Dejection for Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Andros Townsend of England as Per Mertesacker of Germany (not pictured) scores their first goal during the international friendly match between England and Germany at
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images


June 24—England vs. Costa Rica

The easiest of England's group games by some distance, this one is a "must win" for England. Costa Rica possess very few players playing in the top leagues across the world. Bryan Oviedo, who scored the winner for Everton against Manchester United earlier this week, will be a threat.

England, though, should win comfortably.

Prediction: England 2-0 Costa Rica


Six points will be enough to see England through, but it's likely they'll struggle as the tournament moves into the knock-out stages. Group D looks potentially problematic, but Hodgson's side have enough to make it through.