England players during a training session
Thursday Jun 19, 2014. 02:11
Uruguay and England will be aiming to bounce back from their World Cup upsets when they meet at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paolo on Thursday
, kick-off at 21h00
The teams arrive into the encounter on the back of similar form after having both tasted defeat in their respective Group D openers in the World Cup.
Uruguay were shocked by a valiant, pacey and determined display from Costa Rica to be stunned with a 3-1 defeat despite having taken the lead through Edison Cavani’s first-half penalty.
Joel Campbell, Oliver Duarte and Marco Urena were all on target for Los Ticos in Fortaleza, as Uruguay evidently felt the absence of star striker Luis Suarez.
The Liverpool hitman is expected to make a return to playing against the nation in which he plies his trade and he admits he has an overwhelming hunger to get the better of the Three Lions.
“I have a barbarian desire to help my teammates, to be able to go onto the pitch," Suarez told Ovacion Digital.
"There have been some difficult days since the loss to Costa Rica. I wanted to thank you for the support given to us.
"Stay calm. We are going to give our best in the match against England. Trust us, we want to progress, we are the best.”
There was an inevitable lack of character from Oscar Tabarez’s men, and a loss for Uruguay will almost certainly mean elimination for them.
Similarly, England were handed the same fate by their long-term rivals Italy when they met in Manuas last Saturday.
Claudio Marchisio drew first blood for the 2006 champions, but the response from Roy Hodgson’s side was impressive in that Daniel Sturridge pounced back with the equalizer two minutes later.
Improvement from the 2012 Euro outing was visible in the team, however, as they were left exposed on their left flank by Matteo Darmian and Antonio Candreva- the latter supplied the cross for Mario Balotelli to net the winner.
A player who has since had to bear the brunt of criticism is Wayne Rooney, whose position saw him dominate the build-up to the encounter, but his performance left few impressed.
The Manchester United man was pushed into his unfavoured wide role ann his teammate, Raheem Sterling, still holds him in high regard despite putting out a better display than his countryman.
"He [Rooney] is a world-class player, I've watched him growing up,” he told the media.
“He is someone I looked up to so to have trained with him at this camp has been a real honour, really. He works really hard and is always improving as well, so for someone like that for me to look up to I am really glad to have him the team."
Like Uruguay, defeat would also mean England are staring a group phase elimination in the face and they know fully well it is do or die for the two teams.