Uruguay sat Luis Suarez in their opener against Costa Rica, apparently believing they could rest their hobbling star striker and still get three points.
Uruguay were stunned in their opening group match losing 3-1 to a squad that had the worst betting odds to win the group. They need a win here or their chances of advancing to the knockout stage will be reduced to almost nil.
England are the slim 6-5 betting favorite in this match on the heels of a solid performance in their opener, a 2-1 loss to Italy. Sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com had Uruguay at 13-5 and a draw line of roughly 12-5.
Suarez is expected to be fit, per Carl Markham of The Independent. Even without the England Premier League goals leader on the pitch, Uruguay has Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan and a solid attack.
However, it was the Uruguay defense that really struggled in the Costa Rica loss.
The midfield play for England is the strength of their team, led by captain Steven Gerrard, and their attack had plenty of chances in the Italy loss. It also stalled several times in the second half with sloppy crosses.
Daniel Sturridge scored the goal in the Italy match, and if Uruguay gave up three goals to Costa Rica, how will their defense deal with Sturridge and Wayne Rooney?
Uruguay do not match up with England well in the midfield and, if they allow the English to dominate the time of possession, they will have a major uphill battle.
Uruguay may have major problems with the pace that England plays, and Gerrard said as much. The South American squad cannot let the English dictate the match, and they need to push the envelope on offense and hope their defense holds up.
The history between these teams is extremely even with Uruguay owning four wins, England three and three games ending in draws.
Both squads wasted chances in the front of the goal in their last matches. With each enduring issues on the back line, neither can afford to squander chances.
The draw is not a good outcome for either squad, as that will mean each will have only one point heading into the last group match. However, that is just what will happen, as each squad will score, but the match will end in a draw.
England vs. Uruguay Prediction: 2-2 draw
Lines, stats, prediction courtesy of Odds Shark.
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