Your daily World Cup tip sheet for who's playing when, and what to watch for. We'll deliver a new briefing the evening before every game day, highlighting the can't-miss match and which players to watch.
Match of the day: Uruguay vs. England
Two teams coming off losses in their Group D openers will look at this match as do-or-die for their chances to reach the knockout stage. Uruguay, trying to bounce back from a shocking 3-1 loss to Costa Rica, will be tempted to test the surgically repaired knee of striker Luis Suarez (Liverpool) after he sat out the opener. If he’s healthy (he has deemed the knee “100 per cent”), Suarez and strike partner Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain) should be a handful for England’s back four. Uruguay’s defence is plenty leaky, so it needs the offence to start clicking. For the Three Lions, manager Roy Hodgson has some interesting lineup decisions to make. Many are calling for the removal of striker Wayne Rooney from the starting 11 after yet another mediocre performance in the side’s 2-1 loss to Italy. Is it time to turn the team over to the kids? Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, 19, was fantastic in the Italy match and Hodgson also used youngsters Jordan Henderson, 23, Jack Wilshere, 22, Daniel Sturridge, 24, and Ross Barkley, 20. It could very well be up to the next generation of English soccer stars to get the job done now.
Player to watch: Uruguay's Luis Suarez
Player to watch: Uruguay’s Suarez. Probably the most interesting soccer player in the world, he’s made a living walking the fine line between brilliance and disaster. A deadly finisher, he had 31 goals in 33 matches to lead the EPL this season and has the tools to dominate any match he participates in. Also on his resume: TWO suspensions for biting opponents, an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, a blatant handball to prevent a goal in the last minute extra time in a quarter-final match against Ghana at the 2010 World Cup and a well-earned reputation as a diver. It’s entirely possible he scores two breathtaking goals in the first half, then punches an opponent in the throat in the second and is done for the tournament. Watch him while you can.
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