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World Cup pre-game: Uruguay vs. England

England and Uruguay will be fighting for their World Cup lives Thursday when they battle to stay in the hunt in Group D (CBC, CBC.ca/FIFAWorldCup, 2:30 p.m. ET).

Each team look to rebound from opening-match losses

England needs Raheem Sterling, left, to continuing playing fast, while Uruguay hopes its star player Luis Suarez will be match fit. (Getty Images)

Group D: Uruguay vs. England

What’s at stake

Crucial points in Group D are on the line.

A draw wouldn’t help either Uruguay or England. Each team needs to score goals and win if they have any hope of making it through.

Impact players

  • Uruguay: Luis Suarez. He stayed on the bench against Costa Rica. Is he match fit? If so, expect him to play against England. And if not, he’s likely done. It’s now or never.
  • England: Raheem Sterling. This 19-year-old footballer was very impressive in the opening match. His bold and fast play helps England against its Group D opponents.​

What to watch for

It’ll be a battle of the strikers (assuming Suarez plays). This game features the top goal-scorers in the Premiership from last season —Suarez (with 31) and Sturridge (21).

Uruguay needs to find more depth and breadth against England than it showed against Costa Rica.

Wayne Rooney’s play was not what it could have been. And, as always, the British press let him have it. Rooney has to step up on this global stage if England is to avoid a quick trip home.​

They said it

"He has gone through the phases that we have foreseen in his recovery and we will have to see if he can find fitness.” — Oscar Tabarez, manager for Uruguay, talking to reporters about his key player Suarez.

“If you lose the first game you’ve got to win the next two. There’s no way you can drift to qualification.” — England’s manager Roy Hodgson to reporters.​

The Big Number

10 — England’s 10-game unbeaten streak in World Cup group stage matches was snapped against Italy. It wants to start a new streak.​

Obligatory Fun Fact

Oscar Tabarez and Roy Hodgson share an interesting World Cup experience. Both returned to the World Cup after a 20-year managing absence. For Tabarez, he came back in 2010 after taking charge of Uruguay in Italy for the 1990 campaign. Hodgson guided Switzerland to the big tournament in the USA in 1994.

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