The latest as England conclude their group games.
Tuesday sees the curtain come down on England’s World Cup dream, and it’s safe to say that it hasn’t been fun while it’s lasted.
Two gut-wrenching defeats to Italy and Uruguay means that England’s final showdown with Costa Rica is somewhat of a dead-rubber affair in Belo Horizonte, though it could give us fans cause for optimism.
Roy Hodgson is set to name a youthful, exciting starting line-up at the Estadio Mineirao, outlining England’s credentials for future major tournament success.
Costa Rica vs. England, 17:00
Costa Rica’s story is one to be admired. Coming into Group D as minnows, they’ve swept aside Uruguay and the highly rated Italians to reach the last 16 for just the second time in their history.
Though their last hurdle comes in the shape of England, if they maintain their form then it could be three group wins out of three for Jorge Luis Pinto’s men – standing at 16/5 with SkyBet.
Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz was the hero of the day during Costa Rica’s 1-0 victory over the Italians and he’s an enhanced 11/1 with SkyBet to find the net first once again against England.
A draw or better for the Costa Ricans will likely see them likely avoid the daunting opposition of Colombia in the last 16, giving them motivation to win despite having their knockout-stage place confirmed. England, though, have a very different mission on their hands.
World Cup 2014 has been the same old story for the English – high hopes, low reality – but at least they didn’t go out on penalties this time.
Tuesday’s clash with Costa Rica is the perfect way for Hodgson’s men to repay fans’ faith and they’re 17/20 with SkyBet to be victorious – turning a disastrous campaign into a routinely poor one.
Throughout the tournament, the calls for Everton starlet Ross Barkley to start in the heart of midfield have been coming in their thousands. With Barkley set to finally get his chance, he’s 11/1 to really make his mark with the game’s opener.
England will field a vastly inexperienced back line in Belo Horizonte, with Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all starting the match. With that in mind, there could be a few goals flying in and over 4.5 goals looks worth a bet at 4/1 with SkyBet.
England went behind in both of their Group D fixtures heading into Tuesday’s match, unfortunately setting them up for defeat. Hodgson’s slow starters could once again concede first against Costa Rica and are 6/4 to do so with SkyBet.
Tuesday’s match will likely mark the end of the international road for midfielder Frank Lampard, who will captain the side at Steven Gerrard’s expense. With 105 caps to his name, Lampard has been a loyal servant to the England cause and is 9/2 with SkyBet to go out with a bang by finding the net in 90 minutes.
Here are the popular scorelines and SkyBet odds for an England victory against Costa Rica:
England to win 1-0 – 8/1
England to win 2-0 – 9/1
England to win 2-1 – 8/1
England to win 3-1 – 14/1
Though our World Cup may be coming to a close, there’s no need to fret, England fans. With Barkley and Co. leading proceedings against Costa Rica, it could be that our young stars prove that major tournament success isn’t too far away.
For now, though, let’s just enjoy the ride of England playing in a World Cup and leave lamenting what could have been for another day.