It's time to get your predictions in for the England v Uruguay game
Marcus Braddock looks ahead tonight's game - So we're already on game two for England and as yet we have no points. Several pundits have seen positive signs from England, but I'll have to take their word for it because I wasn't particularly encouraged by what I saw in the small hours of Sunday morning. There was plenty of earnest effort, willing industry and a few skilful moments, but to me England looked quite green and a little naïve. By contrast, Italy looked like the seasoned international professionals that they are and although they probably won’t win the World Cup, they certainly know how to play international competitions whilst making the minimum effort.
Next up are Uruguay, the team everyone was worried about before the competition, or to be more accurate, their talismanic striker Mr Suarez was the one everyone was worrying about. He's certainly had a very good season and although I'm not keen on his antics, even I had to admit he was one of the players of the season in the English Premiership. Fortunately for England, Suarez has been recovering from surgery since the Premiership ended and although he's announced himself as fit to play, is he really?
By all accounts he has only trained for a few days and been an unused substitute in the game against Costa Rica, so why did Uruguay not use him then? Maybe his idea of fit and his coaches’ idea are not the same thing? Or maybe he has benefited from the rest he's had and the impact of having their talisman back will have a positive result, regardless of his fitness. I don’t know, but then I was suspicious when I heard he was having surgery, and wondered if he may be swinging the lead in the hope of lulling us into a false sense of security.
Since October, Uruguay have only been beaten twice and have won five out of seven of their games leading up to the competition. But closer inspection of those results shows that since their 3-2 home win against Argentina, results have been far from spectacular. That win meant they qualified for a play-off against Jordan, a team they beat 5-0 at home but drew with 0-0 in the return leg, but I guess they had nothing to play for in the second match. Since qualification, La Garra Charrúa (which apparently means guts, ferocity and fighting spirit) have drawn against Austria, beaten Northern Ireland 1-0 at home and beaten Slovenia 2-0, also at home. Far from impressive and when you factor in their defeat on Saturday against the mighty Costa Rica, they seem quite beatable.
But can England beat them? If they play as they did against Italy and Uruguay continue their form in the competition so far, we should at least sneak the result and gain a little confidence ahead of our last game. That said, I have a feeling that La Garra Charrúa may show a little more fighting spirit against us than they have so far, and Costa Rica was just one game so we will probably have a game on our hands. Especially as Uruguay have to play Italy in their last group game and they will see playing against England as the more winnable game. Like the Uruguayans, England pretty much have to win this game to stand any chance of going through to the next round because we can’t bank on beating what looked like a well organized Costa Rica. As England Manager Roy Hodgson said in a recent interview, its knock out football all the way if you lose your first game so really, we need to take the three points. So we have two teams who need a win to stand any chance of qualifying, which means the chances of a pretty open game are good. With that in mind, I'm going for a 3-2 win to England!
Jacob Braddock’s prediction 1-0 to England
Micky Mellon goes for a 1-1 draw
Mike Jackson a 2-1 win for England
Ian Whitfield also a 2-1 win for England
Do you want to make a prediction and be in with a chance to WIN one of the new SHREWSBURY TOWN AWAY SHIRT? Just go to www.facebook.com/groups/shrewschat/ , join the group and add your prediction to the “World Cup prediction competition” discussion that will be pinned to the top of the discussion board or pop along to the ShrewsWall.
If you guess the correct scoreline you get three points, if you predict the correct result only, you get 1 point. A running total will be calculated for each player based on their predictions for the England group games and any subsequent England games. In the event of a tied score, a tiebreaker will be set. A list of the top players will be published after each game and will also be included in the preview arti cle for the following England game.