While every other group in the 2014 World Cup features one team that is a clear-cut betting favorite, Group D has three teams that are virtually neck-and-neck on the betting board in Italy, Uruguay and England.
The only consensus coming out of this group seems to be at the bottom, where Costa Rica is expected to be the punching bag.
At 3-2 to win Group D, Italy is the slight favorite to emerge as the winner of Group D. This is in large part due to how technically sound the team is from top to bottom.
Italy is led by a pair of savvy veterans in captain goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and masterful midfielder Andrea Pirlo, with each possessing over 100 international appearances.
Of course it is the brilliant skill and antics of striker Mario Balotelli that are sure to make headlines at some point in this group. The Azzuri are going off at 22-1 to win the World Cup.
Uruguay is loaded with talent on offense including 2010 breakout star Diego Forlan and Liverpool superstar Luis Suarez. Suarez has missed games leading up to the World Cup with a knee injury but should be a force as soon as he is ready to return to the pitch.
The squad has some question marks on defense, but the offense should be good enough to give any opponent in this group trouble, especially if Suarez is in form.
Uruguay would pay roughly 2-1 to win the group and 25-1 to win the World Cup. And while it is ancient history, Uruguay has won two of the four World Cups hosted by South America (in 1930 and 1950).
Usually entering World Cup action with high expectations, England finds itself coming into this year's tournament a bit more under the radar than usual at 2-1 to win Group D and 22-1 to win the World Cup. The team is solid at every position, especially in midfield with Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and at striker with Wayne Rooney and popular up-and-comer Daniel Sturridge.
Injuries have affected England's depth, however, and the team has built a reputation for underachieving despite advancing out of the group stage in each of the last four World Cups.
Costa Rica allowed just seven goals in 10 qualifying matches leading up to the World Cup, bolstered by strong goalkeeping from Keylor Navas. The defense could force a surprise draw, but in such a strong and experienced group, Costa Rica doesn't figure to be a factor.
The squad is a 50-1 long shot to win Group D and 1000-1 on the World Cup future betting lists.
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