Expect drama in World Cup Group D

Only eight countries have ever won a World Cup. Three of them are in this group.
When England's Steven Gerrard goes up against his Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez of Uruguay, tension will be high. ((Paul Thomas/Associated Press))

If the late Lucianno Pavarotti was still with us, I'd love to hear him reprise the version of "Nessum Dorma" he sang at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

It translates to "None Shall Sleep", a fitting sentiment for fans following Group D.

It should be riveting stuff. Only eight countries have ever won a World Cup. Three of them are in this group.

And yet Italy, who, from headbutts to dubiously awarded penalty kicks, is never far away from controversy at this event, isn't even the most likely in the group to inspire opera-worthy drama.

Not with Luis Suarez around.  

Four years ago the Uruguayan striker denied an African nation a first-ever appearance in a World Cup semi final when he stopped Ghana from scoring with his hand. Since then, Suarez has seldom been far from the headlines.

Suarez centre of attention

With his club, Liverpool, he's been accused of everything from racism to cannibalism (although, in fairness, he really only bit a couple of his opponents). For all his devil ways, Suarez is heavenly to watch.

Despite a lengthy suspension he still led the Premiership in goals and came second in assists. The only player with more helpers this season was Stephen Gerrard, Suarez's captain at Liverpool who also happens to captain England.

There's been so much anticipation over the Uruguay-England match at the World Cup, even theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has weighed in. Hawking says a European referee will help England because they won't favour "ballerinas like Suarez" who flop all over the place trying to attract fouls!

Meanwhile, Group D's other team — Costa Rica — will need much more than favourable officiating to advance. "The Ticos" will almost surely watch as Italy, England and Uruguay fight — hopefully not literally — for the group's two berths.

Regehr's pick: I see Uruguay in the number one position with Italy second.


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