Uruguay v England - Match Preview, Team News, and Key Stats

England play Uruguay in Sao Paulo on Thursday knowing a defeat would end their World Cup campaign in the group stage.

To be played on Thursday 19th June 2014 at 20:00. Venue: Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo.

Odds: Uruguay 5/2, Draw 5/2, England 11/10

Preview & injury news

England captain Steven Gerrard and striker Daniel Sturridge both suffered knocks against Italy, but both are expected to start. Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has returned to training with the England side, but it is thought Thursday's match in Sao Paulo has come too early for him to feature. 

For Uruguay, Luis Suarez has declared himself 100% fit for the match, after undergoing knee surgery before the tournament that kept him out of the defeat to Costa Rica on Saturday. It is unsure as to how match fit the Liverpool striker will be, but he looks certain to play against the country where he plays his football in.

It is rare that a match between two equal sides is effectively a knock out still in the group stage, but this is definitely that. After England lost 2-1 to Italy and Costa Rica surprised Uruguay with a 3-1 victory, whoever loses this match faces an early exit from the competition they are expected to compete for. One thing is for certain however, it is sure to be a tense match as both teams look to keep their World Cup dreams alive in Brazil. 

Key stats

England have scored in each of their last eight World Cup encounters with South American sides.

Uruguay continued their run of not winning an opening group game since 1970 and they have won only once in their second game in their last six World Cup appearances.

Rooney created more chances than any other player in the England vs Italy game (3, including one assist).

5 players to watch

Wayne Rooney - All the attention has been on where Wayne Rooney should play in Thursday's clash. He started on the left wing against Italy, despite the fact his preferred position is as striker or in the 'number 10' role just behind the striker. Despite that, he supplied a superb assist for Sturridge's goal and looked a threat throughout, despite his miss in the second half. There is no doubt he will start, but where and to what ability is the question.

Luis Suarez - The Liverpool man will be desperate to play a leading role for Uruguay in this match. During their 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica, Suarez had a look of anguish as he was unable to help his teammates in the World Cup, but he will sure to play a part in Thursday's clash. Whether it be brilliant individual skill or controversy, there is always action when Suarez plays and playing against England will only add to that. 

Phil Jagielka - The Everton defender will be tasked with marking his Merseyside rival on Thursday, one that is likely to be as difficult as it gets for any centre-back in world football. However Jagielka proved his credentials in the defeat to Italy, as he looked solid throughout and prevented Italy from scoring more than their two, especially as he cleared off the line from a superb Balotelli chip. He will know exactly what to expect form Suarez, but he will need to stop it if England want to win this one. 

Diego Godin - The Atletico Madrid man had a superb season for his club last year, winning La Liga and reaching the Champions League final. However his performance on Saturday looked a shadow of his best form as Arsenal man Joel Campbell got the better of him for most of the match. He can expect to have to defend more youthful pace on Thursday, as Sturridge and co looked to exploit Uruguay's ageing squad. He will need to be positioned to perfection is he is to stop the pace of England's attacks.

Raheem Sterling - Making his first competitive debut in the first match of a World Cup is not an easy occasion, yet Sterling played as though he was an experienced international. He was in brilliant form for Liverpool in the latter stages of last season, and took that form into the England shirt on Saturday as he beat the Italians defence consistently. He will need to back that up in Sao Paulo with another good performance if England's attack does get the better of Uruguay's defence. Look out for England's pocket rocket in this one.

Last time they met

England 2 (Crouch 75, J Cole 90), Uruguay 1 (Pouso 26) March 2006, Anfield.

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