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World Cup Day Eight: Uruguay v. England

After both nations lost their opening match, it's win or go home time for Uruguay and England in what is likely to be a decisive battle for second in Group D.

Warren Little
SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Preview'

Uruguay v. England
Wednesday, June 18th | 8PM BST/3PM EST
Television Listings | Full Schedule

Group D

The day's headliner sees Luis Suarez returning to action with Uruguay as the South Americans look to show the world their opening match loss to Costa Rica was a fluke. Sadly for Uruguay, it wasn't. This is a side that barely scraped through qualification, playing terribly and having to go to the intercontinental playoff where they beat Jordan to make it to Brazil. Take Suarez out of the equation as against Costa Rica, and things get even worse for them. They probably still should have been good enough to get a result, but that they didn't is hardly the monumental upset it might appear at first glance. And of course with Suarez back, one can't rule out a moment of mad genius that earns them the victory.

Still, England will be favourites, and rightly so. Despite losing to Italy in their opener, they played a mostly solid game. In particular, Liverpool players Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson were England's stars, and another match of the same quality from that duo and their England teammates should mean a win that puts them in pole position to finish second behind Italy in Group D. It would help, though, if manager Roy Hodgson found the nerve to drop the misfiring Wayne Rooney, who adds little in attack and is a gross liability without the ball. Without him, England probably would have beat Italy; with him, they should still beat Uruguay given the form of the two counties of late.

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