Can England Win Their Match Against Uruguay?
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Can England Win Their Match Against Uruguay?

England returns to the World Cup pitch today in their second group match against Uruguay, a game that both teams need to win in order to avoid an early group exit.  Both Italy and Costa Rica are ahead in the standings, meaning fans can safely bet that one of England or Uruguay is unlikely to reach the Round of 16.

The English team was given a slight edge if they advance to the Round of 16 when Chile officially eliminated Spain from the World Cup.  The Spanish team was the defending champions from the 2010 World Cup, and many fans were betting on the team advancing into the later stages of the 2014 World Cup.

England would not have faced off against Spain until at least the quarterfinal rounds had both teams advanced to that stage of the tournament.  But with one of the World Cup powerhouses out of the tournament, the odds improve for England if they qualify for the knockout round.

However to get to that stage, the team must first deal with Uruguay.  Having lost to Italy, England needs to acquire as many points as possible in today’s game.  That means Roy Hodgson needs to assess all his players and all his options before England kicks off with Uruguay.

The biggest question for Hodgson is how to use forward Wayne Rooney, who played as an outside forward in the opener against Italy.  Rooney faced criticism at home when Hodgson included the 28 year old on the World Cup team, and took his share of lumps from fans disappointed that he did not score in the opener – though he did assist Daniel Sturridge in scoring England’s goal.

Sources close to Hodgson say the coach will move Rooney back to a central forward position in the game against Uruguay, the position he normally plays with Manchester United.  Playing as a central forward will also provide Rooney with better opportunities to score goals as well as expand on the collaboration with Sturridge on the attack.

The game kicks off at 4pm Brazilian time, and will determine whether England can bet on seeing the Round of 16 – or if the players will pack their bags for an early trip home.

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