England have been given a tough group in the World Cup. The seeded team in the group are Uruguay, with Italy also joining England as the extra European side. Costa Rica make up the group. Uruguay are ranked 6th in the FIFA World rankings, with Italy ranked 7th. England are the third highest ranked team in the group, ranked 13th, whilst Costa Rica bring up the rear in 31st.
Although on paper this looks a tough group for England, which it is, it is very possible that they could qualify for the next round. Even if you write off the Italy match, qualification is still very plausible. Uruguay are the highest ranked team in the group, and have a formidable front line of Cavani and Suarez, but their defence is suspect. They had to qualify through the play-offs, and should England neutralise Luis Suarez, you would imagine that Uruguay would not offer anything going forward. This will allow the likes of Rooney, Townsend, Walcott or whomever is playing to attack the leaky defence. The task of neutralising Suarez and Cavani is a big one, and there will undoubtedly be calls for John Terry to return to the England squad. This would be a step back however, as Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka have been solid throughout the qualification period, and are both regulars for top Premier League teams. Selecting Terry, who has been part of an England team that has failed regularly throughout the so-called ‘golden generation’, will just be a crushing blow to the current shirt holders, as it will tell them that they aren’t good enough. This means that should one of them be needed to fill in at centre back, which is likely because John Terry’s fitness is questionable given his advancing years, they will be demoralised and scared of making a mistake, which is how England have played in the past few World Cups. Costa Rica aren’t to be underestimated, however England should really be beating them.