World Cup Group D News: 1st June 2014
England head off to Miami in preparation for World Cup Group D action starting two weeks time….
Atletico Madrid star Cristian Rodriguez. believes England will face the best player in the world this year when they take on Uruguay at the World Cup finals.
Rodriguez was quoted as saying,
“As far as I’m concerned Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are a notch or so below Suarez”.
Talking to the Daily Mail, Rodriguez said: “Suarez is the best player in the world and I’m not saying that because I’m Uruguayan and so is he. As far as I’m concerned Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are a notch or so below Suarez.
“He has demonstrated it for club and country – Messi and Ronaldo are not as good for their countries as for their clubs.
“Everyone loves him in the squad. He is a rebel on the pitch who fights for every ball, but that is what we love about him in Uruguay.”
Suarez helped Uruguay reach the semi-finals of the World Cup four years ago in South Africa, netting three goals before being sent off in the quarter-final win over Ghana.
Wayne Rooney’s fitness has been under the spotlight but Roy Hodgson insists the Manchester United striker will be ready and up for the World Cup.
Rooney heads to Brazil this month desperate to end his unwanted record of having never scored in the finals and determined to allay any fears about his well-being.
Rooney missed the last three games of the domestic season because of a groin injury. He was replaced by Raheem Sterling on the hour mark in the 3-0 friendly win against Peru .
Goals from Daniel Sturridge, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka secured an easy win but it was a quiet night for Rooney, who threatened only once with a first-half header.
“I was happy with Rooney’s performance,” Hodgson said. “We think we know where he is. We think we know how his fitness is being maintained or progressing. We obviously took him and Stevie G as they are important members of our squad.”
“We’re not blessed with loads of senior players and at 3-0 it seemed to be a great opportunity to give younger ones a go. I don’t have any fears about Rooney’s fitness. His attitude and commitment are first-class, even in a game of this nature. And he’s got two more weeks to keep that going.”
He confirmed Phil Jones of Manchester United and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Arsenal will get a run out in Wednesday’s friendly against Ecuador at Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, in Florida.
“They could have both played tonight, but I determined that they would start the game on Tuesday and we had number of substitutes on the bench,” he said.
“We decided it would be better for them to do an extra day’s training. We’ve got Saturday free and Sunday’s a travelling day, so rather than have them with three days with no training, we chose to train them.”
Fruitcake striker, Mario Balotelli claims England are “no real rivals for Italy” to win the FIFA World Cup.
Italy open their World Cup account against England with the Italian striker quoting that he doesn’t see Roy Hodgson’s men as legitimate challengers for the top prize?
“I don’t look at England as a team that can win the World Cup. They have some good players, but they are no real rivals for Italy.”
Former City striker believes Italy’s experience of reaching the latter stages of major tournaments will stand them in good stead in Brazil.
Balotelli, who helped dump England out of Euro 2012 in the quarter-finals on penalties, remains cautious on his side’s chances of taking the title, but says they can challenge for the top prize in Brazil.
“I am not saying that Italy are favourites, but we have the mentality and experienced players to surprise people. I don’t think England have that”
England are quoted 4/7 to qualify from Group D
Wayne Rooney is priced 50/1 in the leading goalscorer betting
Uruguay can be backed at 15/2 to reach the semi final
Uruguay are 18/1 to finish as runners-up and 28/1 to win the World Cup for the third time.
Italy are 6/4 to beat England in their Group D opener
England’s Three Lions are 11/8 to win.
Italy are 25/1 to to win the tournament outright
England can be backed at 33/1 to win the World Cup.
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