Following last night’s (s)painful defeat, Espana, the current World Cup title holders and a former favourite, were left feeling a little Chile (sorry). Their 2-0 defeat meant that, just three matches into the tournament, they are out of the running for the coveted cup - and their dreams of being the first team to win two European and two World Cup titles consecutively are well and truly over. England’s chances, however, are still hanging in the 90 minutes of (probable) torture on the way tonight.
Later, we take on Uruguay. By 8pm sharp you should be with beer in hand and firmly in front of a TV (preferably turned to ITV if you want to catch the match). We, of course - regretfully -lost our first game against Italy. But we actually played extraordinarily well - and for that reason, there is still hope.
BUT our success in these first, crucial group stages does rest on a sh*t load of confusing variables. So we’ve compiled a handy list of everything you need to know ahead of the 90 minutes that could already make or break our World Cup success…
1. If we win we go through
Keep everything crossed. If England win against Uruguay tonight, we go joint top of the group with Italy… Until tomorrow. At 5pm tomorrow, Italy will then play Costa Rica. If Italy win, England need to beat Costa Rica and - stay with us - hope that Uruguay beat Italy in the last game in order to go top of the group. If Costa Rica win, England need to beat Costa Rica by more goals than Italy beat Uruguay by in the last game to top the group.
2. If we draw, we might go through
A draw would mean that we’ll stay third in the group tonight, and consequently stay behind Italy and Costa Rica tomorrow. In this case scenario, we need to win our match against Costa Rica and hope that Italy beat or draw with Uruguay in order to go through. Hmm.
3. If we lose, we’re basically out
A loss could mean we’d be hot on Spain’s heels and following them out of the tournament altogether. The only way we could potentially still scrape through would be on goal difference in the next few games. We do not want this.
4. Luis Suarez might play
Luis Suarez, Liverpool FC’s cracking striker and the Premier League’s top scorer last season (31 goals and a further 14 assists - he is, undoubtedly, a statistical and real life footballing hero), has been out with a knee injury so far. But, by all accounts, he’ll be taking on England tonight. Which is not particularly good news. If he does play, he’ll be on the wrong side of half of his usual team - Liverpool’s great Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard. Awks.
5. Wayne Rooney will get the flack if we lose
Poor Rooney. Since he’s yet to score in a World Cup (this is his third), and he’s one of the best players we have, fans like to believe that, should we lose, on his hair-plugged head be it. Expect a few less-than-pleasant headlines on the back page tomorrow if that’s the case…