England were arguably unfortunate not to clinch a point against Italy but the defeat means a similar result against Uruguay tonight will make it almost impossible for World Cup qualification into the knockout stages.
BetVictor make England 10/11 to make it through to the last 16 and the same price Roy Hodgson’s men fall at the first hurdle.
The Three Lions have never beaten Uruguay in the World Cup Finals but the South Americans were poor against Costa Rica at the weekend and, if England play with the same pace and intensity as they did against the Azzurri, then I can’t see past an England win.
Uruguay failed to cope with the speed, power and no little skill of Arsenal’s Joel Campbell in Fortaleza and the ill-discipline, which has often plagued La Celeste, came back to haunt them again with Maxi Pereira sent off late on for a wild kick on Campbell who spent last season on loan at Olympiakos in Greece.
Uruguay supporters will hope their talisman Luis Suarez will be back in the starting XI in Sao Paulo but the potential return of the Liverpool striker cannot hide their defensive deficiencies and coach Oscar Tabarez admitted it was Suarez who asked to be left on the bench against Costa Rica.
England are 23/20 at BetVictor to take the points in Sao Paulo with Uruguay 27/10 and the draw at 5/2 and they are a confident selection. Daniel Sturridge is 5/1 to score the opening goal and 13/8 to find the back of the net at any time; any striker worth their salt would look forward to playing against this Uruguayan defence even with the excellent Atletico Madrid central defender Diego Godin in its line-up.
Ahead of the Italy game we suggested England had to keep possession better than they had in previous tournaments and Hodgson will be delighted to see his side recorded their highest ever (91 per cent) World Cup pass completion rate in Manaus.
His young Three Lions are a work in progress and they badly need Manchester United’s Phil Jones to make the transition from excellent prospect to international defender.
The hope is that by France 2016 he will have made that transition as he has the pace and power that Everton’s admirable Phil Jagielka doesn’t.
World Cup Outright prices from BetVictor; Brazil 3/1, Argentina 4/1, Germany 9/2, Holland 12/1, Spain 14/1, Italy 18/1, Belgium 25/1, England 25/1 and Colombia 28/1.
The Three Lions remain 28/1 to lift the Trophy next month with the early movers Holland 33s into 12/1, France 16s from 20s with Spain going the wrong way 12s from 6/1. A win against Uruguay and Tuesday’s game with Costa Rica could boil down to a winner-takes-all clash; we were told England would play with no fear against the Azzurri and that was largely the case.
The sight of a fully fit Suarez (5/1 to score the opener) would send alarm bells ringing around any side in the world, but I take the Three Lions to get their World Cup back on track with a 3-1 win which is 19/1 at BetVictor.
Group D To Qualify Prices from BetVictor:
Costa Rica 5/4
For all the latest odds and more head to BetVictor.com