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

Adjustments

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
 

Uruguay

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

Life and Style
life
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Film director Martin Scorsese
film
News
news

The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballI have never seen the point of lambasting the fourth official, writes Paul Scholes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee