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World Cup

  • June 24, 2014
  • • 12:00
  • • Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais
  • Referee: D. Haïmoudi
  • • Attendance: 57823
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World Cup Preview: Costa Rica - England

World Cup Preview: Costa Rica - England

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The Three Lions will try to end their World Cup on a high after elimination following losses in their two opening games, whilst the Central Americans will aim to claim top spot.

England coach Roy Hodgson is set to give an opportunity to some of the squad’s younger players in Tuesday’s Group D clash with Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte.

Back-to-back 2-1 defeats against Italy and Uruguay saw England eliminated after just two games and the Three Lions now face the competition’s surprise package, with the Central Americans already advanced to the second round and needing just a point to finish as group winners.

With pride to play for in their final fixture for and one eye on the future as well, Hodgson is likely to give a run-out to some of England’s promising young players.

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling could both feature, while Hodgson has confirmed that Ross Barkley will start and Luke Shaw will come in for the injured Leighton Baines.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also out after suffering a setback in training on Sunday, while 36-year-old midfielder Frank Lampard could captain the side in place of Steven Gerrard, with both perhaps playing their last games for their country.

England have unhappy memories of Belo Horizonte, having been beaten in the capital of Minas Gerais by USA in the 1950 World Cup - still considered one of the competition’s greatest upsets.

That game was played at an aging Estadio Independencia, while this one take places at the impressive Estadio Mineirao, where the two teams will train on Monday.

Costa Rica need only a draw to claim top spot in a group which also includes four-time World Cup winners Italy, double victors Uruguay and 1966 champions England.

Coach Jorge Luis Pinto has revealed he will rest some of his players in order to keep them fresh for the second round, with forwards Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz set to start on the bench.

If they win Group D, Costa Rica are likely to avoid Group C leaders Colombia, with Ivory Coast, Japan and Greece all fighting for second spot behind the South American side.

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