A Few Things You Need To Know Before England Play Uruguay Tonight

Richard Innes, editor of daily football newsletter The Equaliser gives us the facts to drop during tonight's game...


by Richard Innes |
Published on

Yes, England lost 2-1 against Italy in their first game. And yes, that means tonight’s game against Uruguay is pretty much must-win (although a draw wouldn’t be the end of the world). But here’s the good news: England were actually pretty bloody good in that opening game. Their pass completion rate (91% of their passes found a team mate) was the best by any England team at ANY World Cup. We’re not exactly known as an international force when it comes to passing (continental types laugh at the way English players lump the ball forward), so that was a step in the right direction.

The other bright spark was Raheem Sterling. Only 19, the Liverpool youngster was England’s star of the show against Italy, which is pretty amazing given that a year ago, he was a long shot at best to even make the squad. He’s quick, fearless… and only has one child. We have to point that out because if you Google his name, the first thing that comes up is ‘raheem sterling kids’. That’s because of an incredibly persistent internet rumour that he fathered four kids while still in his teens. Totally untrue, but it does demonstrate just how much even ruggedly male football fans enjoy a bit of tittle-tattle.

This evening’s bad news can be summed up in two words: Luis Suarez. His numbers for last season were frightening – across all of the biggest leagues in Europe, his 31 league goals for Liverpool were matched only by Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Uruguay’s star man is now widely accepted as being one of the world’s greatest strikers, but tonight he’ll be looking to shoot down the hopes of the nation where he lives. Seems grossly unfair, doesn’t it?

On the plus side, no-one – perhaps not even Suarez himself – knows just how fit Uruguay’s main man is. He had to have some minor knee surgery a few weeks ago and has not played a minute of actual match football since. He’ll almost certainly start, but (hopefully) he won’t be at his best. Expect England centre-backs Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka to give that dodgy knee a solid durability test as early as possible.

Last key point: everyone still hates Wayne Rooney. Basically, because he’s England’s most high-profile player (and some would say their best), any failures of the team will be blamed on him; that’s just how English football works. The particular stick with which ‘Wazza’ is currently being beaten: he’s not scored at a World Cup yet (he’s now played in three of them). That’s bad. What the critics won’t tell you is that he created three goalscoring chances for other players in the Italy game: more than anyone else in an England shirt. Feel free to drop that into conversation when the overweight guy next to you starts screaming that Rooney’s a useless fat bastard.

If you want to be kept up to date with all the need-to-know World Cup facts, sign up to TheEqualiser.com here. Follow them on Twitter @TheEqualiserUK

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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