Italy vs England 06/14/2014 Free FIFA World Cup Group D Pick and Preview
England vs Italy
Saturday 14th June 2014 23:00(GMT)
The Line: Italy 7/4 Draw 2/1 England 2/1 See the Latest Odds
TV: bbc; RTE; ESPN; Fox Sports; UTV
Prandelli left Guiseppi Rossi in Italy, that to me is a big mistake. Antonio Cassano is a fine player but Rossi is a goalscorer through and through. This is a talented Italian team but its hard to see where the out and out goalscorers are. Balotelli is hard to figure out, superb when he is on form , absolutely awful when he is not. Immobile the young Torino forward is lacking experience and although he had a good season will he have the temperment needed for the World Cup? Well we will find out. Italy though have buckets of experience with Buffon, Rossi, Pirlo and Cheiliini part of the spine of the team that won the World Cup in 2006. Italy have a great record in World Cup's and have won the title four times, thats the second most in the history of the competition. Can they get it right in a group that is being labeled as one of the toughest in the competition?
Its now or never for Wayne Rooney, I know this sounds sensationalist but its true. Forget the pressure being put on Rooney by the British media and the general public. Wayne Rooney just for Wayne Rooney needs to do it here in Brazil. Rooney has been the great white hope for English football since Euro2004 thats a decade ago, he burst on the scene as a sixteen year old scoring a late winner against Arsenal a couple of weeks later and when signed for £25million by Manchester United he scored a hat trick on his debut in a Champions League game. Rooney was the fulcrum that Englands Euro2004 challenge was based, as an eighteen year old. Its now time for Rooney to deliver that type of tournament preformance in a World Cup. With Daniel Sturridge, Danny Wellbeck and Raheem Sterling there to assist this may just be Rooney's year. Roy Hodgeson's team have been far from impressive in the friendlies but the team does look ready to make a real challenge at a tournament.
USA TODAY Sports
I am taking the draw here. I think Italy will be defensively sound but so will England, Gerrard will lead by example for England and I think they will put in a huge shift tomorrow. This may be the most important game for England, if they can get a result against Italy it sets up the rest of the group. A loss for either team though leaves them in a hole and a tough one to get out of with Uruguay also in the group. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo