World Cup Group D: ‘Italy will be cursing their luck’

Goal’s experts offer their reactions to the World Cup draw in Group A where the Azzurri were placed in a pool alongside Uruguay, England and Costa Rica
By Gabriela Alonso

It can be said that, despite being seeded, Uruguay have fallen into a 'Group of Death'. That said, the Celeste have proven that when they are under pressure, they tend to deliver.

Coach Oscar Tabarez has said Liverpool's Luis Suarez will be one of the big stars, especially for the English media, but again he typically thrives under the spotlight.

Italy are another familiar team, one that Uruguay already played in Brazil, losing on penalties at the Confederations Cup. Costa Rica should prove an easier test, though.

By Andres Corona

There has been no national team with worse luck than Costa Rica. They are in the midst of a Group of Death and must face three former world champions in Uruguay, Italy and England.

In football, everything is possible, but there will be few pundits who think Costa Rica will get more than a point. They must arrive in Brazil at top level if they want to make history.
My initial impression is that Costa Rica will be no-one's favorite to get out of this group and make it into the Round of 16 for the first since 1990, when they surprisingly emerged from a pool that featured Brazil.
By Jay Jaffa

England open up the World Cup against Italy in Group D and, frankly, it won't be well received by an already pessimistic nation. The fixture will bring back painful memories of their Euro 2012 exit.

While the Azzurri pose the greatest threat, Uruguay aren't far behind and boast the ominously brilliant Luis Suarez. They have also never lost to England in a World Cup.

Costa Rica should prove to be whipping boys but as the last game of the group, it could all be over by then. It's a terrible draw for England, but it least it won't be boring.

By Carlo Garganese

Italy will be cursing their luck after being drawn in one of the two undoubted 'Groups of Death'. Costa Rica will be there to make up the numbers, so the Azzurri are in a fight with England and Uruguay to qualify.

Nevertheless, Cesare Prandelli's men should still fancy their chances of going through. Uruguay have a world-class attack, but are ageing elsewhere, while Italy have never lost in a major tournament to England.

The draw favoured the Azzurri in the sense that, if they progress, their second round opponents will not be a traditional force, and they should be hopeful of reaching the quarter-finals.