England vs Uruguay World Cup 2014: Five reasons Roy Hodgson's men WILL beat Luis Suarez and Co in Sao Paulo

Rooney, Sturridge and Sterling can fire Three Lions to victory

Roy Hodgson's England face a must-win game in the Arena Corinthians tonight, there's no other way of looking at it.

Win and continue in the competition or lose and hope Italy do the Three Lions a favour when they play tonight's opponents next week.

England's recent record when faced with this kind of knockout proposition isn't great... in fact, it's dismal.

At least we know it won't go to penalties tonight.

But after an encouraging performance against Italy on Saturday, England should head into this one in full confidence. Uruguay might be a dangerous team, but here are five reasons why England can win tonight.

Wayne Rooney

England's talisman has made the headlines for the wrong reasons in the aftermath of the Italy game. Shunted out to the left he offered Leighton Baines no protection defensively and had only one real moment in the attacking third - a brilliant cross to set up Daniel Sturridge's equaliser.

Hodgson is likely to play Rooney in his preferred central tonight. That will be important in getting a performance out of the Manchester United star, but even more important will be the attitude of the man himself. Throughout his career Rooney has been at his best when he has to prove people wrong. His record at World Cups is pretty dreadful, now is the time to change that. Wayne Rooney hits his most clear-cut chance wide against Italy on Saturday Wayne Rooney will need to be back to his best against Uruguay

England's Young Lions

A lot was made of Roy Hodgson's decision to take new blood to Brazil ahead of the old guard, against Italy it worked well in patches. Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge proved they belonged on the world stage with exciting performances, while Ross Barkley is a real threat coming off the bench when the game is stretched.

Against Uruguay, a much less savvy and defensively solid team, those players should find more space to do damage. Raheem Sterling was fantastic against a strong Italy team


Roy Hodgson is a very clever and switched on man - he will have seen what worked and what didn't against Italy. Leighton Baines and Glen Johnson were clearly exposed, so Hodgson will give them extra defensive cover.

Steven Gerrard was outperformed by Andrea Pirlo in Manaus and while there's no shame in that he must perform better. Whether or not it was by design, Gerrard was too content with playing the simple pass - he has thrived in the 'quarterback' position at Liverpool this season and Hodgson should give his skipper more freedom to play those incisive balls forward.

Read more: Five reasons England WILL NOT beat Uruguay
LIVE: Follow all the action from Uruguay vs England


Whisper it, but England's opponents aren't actually that good. They finished fifth in South American qualifying, behind Ecuador, beating Jordan in a play-off to make it to the tournament.

Defensively they are poor. The skipper Diego Lugano has been ruled out of the game - he barely got a game for West Brom's before being released - and his replacement Liverpool's Sebastian Coates didn't play a single minute for Brendan Rodgers last season, while Jose Maria Gimenez played just 90 minutes for Atletico Madrid.

Right back Maxi Pereira was stupidly sent off in the defeat with Costa Rica and will also miss the game. A defence that was torn to shreds by Costa Rica will be missing it's two most experienced players. Luis Suarez trains with Uruguay on Wednesday Luis Suarez will still be a threat but won't be fully fit for the game

Luis Suarez

The best player in the Premier League might be back and England will, of course, have to be wary of the threat he poses. Suarez will be giving his all to keep Uruguay in the competition.

He was the top scorer in South American qualification with 11 goals, Edinson Cavani had six, but he won't be at his best.

Although a half-fit Suarez is still a frightening prospect, don't expect him to resemble the man who scored 31 goals last season.

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower