Teams Qualified: Costa Rica (1) & Uruguay (2)
Here is the fourth instalment of the "Analysis & Predictions" series of the FIFA World Cup 2014. There are only 10 days before the gala event takes place. Today we are going to analyse Group D and showcase our predictions for the group. Let's look at the possibilities of Group D.
Teams in the group
Uruguay, Costa Rica, England & Italy are in Group D which is the "group of death" in this year's world cup. There are reasons to believe so. Out of four teams in the group, there are three of them who are former world cup winners. Uruguay is the highest ranked teams in the group, standing at the 7th position at the moment. Italy is ranked 9th and England 10th. Costa Rica is, however, far behind at 28 in the FIFA world ranking.
Morale of the teams
Uruguay has come to the tournament after winning the Copa América, the South American continental championship. Their morale must be sky high. Italy, on the other hand, finished only second at the previous occasion of the UEFA European Championship. England is, however, not far behind as it qualified for the World Cup 2014 without suffering a single defeat. While Costa Rica is the underdog in the group, history suggests that it can upset bigger teams. In 1990 when it qualified for the first time, it defeated Sweden and Scotland in the group stage, finishing second only to Brazil.
Players on the spotlight
Uruguay: Diego Forlan, Edinson Cavani & Luis Suarez
Costa Rica: Brian Ruiz & Joel Campbell
England: Wayne Rooney, Jack Wilshere & Daniel Sturridge
Italy: Mario Balotelli, Giuseppe Rossi & Claudio Marchisio
There can be multiple turning points in the group. However, if I have to choose one, the match between Italy and England will be a turning point. This game may well be one of the most violent matches in the tournament. With both teams having several players famous for their volatile temperament, expect a lot of booking. While it is extremely difficult to separate the two, it is Mario Balotelli who will make all the difference. Predicting a 3-2 result for the crucial match, I put Italy inches forward in the game.
Italy will win all three. It is Uruguay which will come in the second position. The Italy-England match will turn out to be the end for England as it will lose against Uruguay as well. There is not much Costa Rica can do in the group. It will lose all three matches it will play. So, it will be Columbia-Uruguay and Italy-Japan in the “Round of 16.”
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