How did you do in our England prediction league
Following the first round of our World Cup prediction competitions, Marcus Braddock keeps us up to date with the high flyers and low riders.....
After round one of our prediction competition, the scores couldn't be tighter with nobody predicting the correct score or result on ShrewsWall
and exactly the same amount predicting correctly on our Facebook
wall. It's left the competition wide open with every player tied for the lead. On a more negative note, it's neck and neck at the bottom of the scores table with everyone occupying the bottom position. It means that there is no better time to join the competition because a correct scoreline would guarantee first place going into what could be the last match of the competition. So it's up to you, on one hand you have the chance to win one of our new away shirts by just typing a couple of numbers in a free competition and on the other hand you could be really boring and never stand a chance of winning anything ever.
Mickey Mellon and Mike Jackson did no better; they both went for draws, as did Media Manager Ian Whitfield and my son Jacob who both though honours would end up being shared.
My reflections on the game are not as positive as England boss did, he and many of our esteemed television pundits found some encouraging signs. I didn't feel particularly encouraged because although we had a few shots on target, we were brushed aside relatively easily by an Italy team who didn't look that special. Once the second goal went in, they handled us like the seasoned professionals that they are.
What I was encouraged by was the performance of the Uruguayans against Costa Rica. They looked completely devoid of ideas or invention and were pretty much there for the taking by a team that sit one place below Scotland in the most recent F.I.F.A. Rankings. I was also encouraged to see Suarez stay on the bench because it means he will have had no first team football since the last day of the Premiership season. If the best Uruguay can offer is the tripe they served up against Costa Rica, we can pretty much consider the three points ours.
More worrying is the form of Costa Rica. A team that most considered also rans, looked to have some pretty handy players and the desire to do well. In beating the Uruguayans, Costa Rica have signalled their intent to not just make up the numbers in a group that contains three ex world champions.
So it's all very open after opening games and there is still plenty to play for. But questions still remain. Will England keep their spirits up and beat Uruguay? Was Costa Rica’s win a flash in the pan or a taste of things to come? Can Uruguay play any worse than they did on Saturday? Will anyone score any points in the prediction competition on Thursday?
To find out the answer to at least one of those questions, keep your eye out for the next prediction competition article on Thursday.