IF ALL had gone to plan for England then we would be looking ahead to their final group game against Costa Rica.
But since this afternoon’s clash is now a dead rubber, with Roy Hodgson’s men already eliminated, we’ll focus on Italy’s meeting with Uruguay, where it’s winner-takes-all and the spotlight will firmly be on Luis Suarez again.
The Liverpool frontman was at his clinical best against the Three Lions last Thursday, scoring in the 39th and 85th minutes, for a whopping goal minutes make-up of 124.
Buyers of his goal minutes tonight, at 25 with Sporting Index, will be hoping for more of the same, but there are a couple of reasons to tread carefully. Firstly, it has to be a worry that his freshly operated-on knee could be a time bomb waiting to go off. Suarez managed to stay on the pitch for 87 minutes against England, but will he be so lucky against the Italians?
Secondly, this has all the hallmarks of a much tighter affair and sellers of total goals at 2.45 with Sporting Index will be licking their lips.
Although there were four goals in the game when the sides met last, in the 2013 Confederations Cup, that was a third-place play-off without today’s pressure.
Sporting Index make Uruguay the fractional 0.05–0.15-goal favourites and that seems right. There won’t be much between the two sides – you just have to decide whether the difference will be Suarez again.