On Tuesday at noon ET, Group D draws to a close.
Italy and Uruguay square off with everything on the line, as the Italians need a point vs. the South Americans to make it through the last 16, while Luis Suarez’s Uruguay need all three points due to their inferior goal differential.
It should be a nail-biter in Natal. Will the Italian’s do a defensive job on Uruguay or will Suarez and Edinson Cavani tear them apart? Everything is set for a thrilling finale.
As for the other match, England have made nine changes to their starting lineup as Roy Hodgson gives youngsters like Luke Shaw and Ross Barkley their full World Cup debuts. They face Costa Rica (who are already through to the last 16 after two shock wins vs. Uruguay and Italy) in Belo Horizonte, with the Three Lions aiming to avoid the embarrassment of losing all three World Cup matches in 2014. Los Ticos are in the knockout rounds for the first-time since 1990 and will be aiming to take top spot in Group D by beating England.
Here are the lineups in full for both matches.
Italy: Buffon (c), De Sciglio, Chiellini, Darmian, Marchisio, Balotelli, Barzagli, Immobile, Bonucci, Pirlo, Verratti
Uruguay: Muslera, Godin (c), Pereira, Rodriguez, Suarez, Gimenez, Lodeiro, Arevalo, Gonzalez, Cavani, Caceres
Expectation: This will be a tense, nervous game, as both teams World Cup hopes are on the line. Expect a brutal match full of tough challenges.
One blogger’s prediction: 2-1 to Uruguay. Luis Suarez will rescue La Celeste and send them into the last 16 at Italy’s expense. (Boy, that rhymed.)
Costa Rica: Navas, Gonzalez, Borges, Duarte, Campbell, Ruiz (c), Brenes, Diaz, Gamboa, Tejeda, Miller
England: Foster, Cahill, Wilshere, Lampard (c), Sturridge, Smalling, Jones, Milner, Lallana, Barkley, Shaw
Expectation: Costa Rica will soak up the English pressure and launch more stunning counter attacks to finish top of the group with three wins from three.
One blogger’s prediction: 2-2. Expect an attack-minded game with both teams going for the win. They have nothing to lose.