World Cup 2014: England vs Italy Preview and Predictions


What a match in store for tomorrow from Manaus as Italy take on England in Group D action. Italy, the 2006 winners, are led by their “point guard” midfielder Andrea Pirlo; while Roy Hodgson has called in the young stars of English football for the cup.

Group D includes England, Italy, Uruguay, and Costa Rica which has many claiming this as the second “Group of Death” behind Group G. Tomorrow’s match will be a good measure for both sides against terrific competition, and could potentially spell trouble for the losing side.

Kickoff is scheduled for tomorrow at 6 pm ET on ESPN. Both teams will have to struggle with the humid climate of the Amazonian jungle city, which means we could see a slow start, but action will certainly pick up.

With that, let’s get to a few bold predictions for the match.

1. Mario Balotelli will score for the Italians

“Super Mario” as he’s known will score for Italy tomorrow in this high-stakes match. The AC Milan striker, and former Manchester City target man, will need to keep his temper in check tomorrow against a physical England backline. If he can keep his head, expect him to cause problems for the defense.

2. Wayne Rooney will score for England

One of the few veterans in the England squad, Rooney will want to set the tone for his side early in the tournament. The withdrawn forward, or attacking midfielder, will see a shot fly past Gigi Buffon tomorrow just as his team needs it.

3. Steven Gerrard will pick up an assist 

The 34 year-old skipper will tally another assist in his legendary international career tomorrow. The Liverpool midfielder will surely play a ball over the top of the Italian defense to a streaking Wayne Rooney to set up a goal.

4. Andrea Pirlo will also pick up an assist

Speaking of legends, Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo is among the best ever. He provides the service of Zeus and will come through again tomorrow. A free-kick or corner kick taken by Pirlo will see the ball connect with Balotelli for a goal.

5. At least 40 fouls and three cards

It’s not a Multiplex article unless we predict this, right? So, we’ll just keep it going for this one. Both teams will not want to drop points, thus aggression will be high, resulting in many foul calls.

6. A late goal will be scored 

This match has all the makings of a classic, the only thing lacking is a late goal. One side will be chipping away after going down early, and will finally break through to score sometime after the 75th minute. With two powerful teams full of young players and a few veterans, this seems certain.

Score prediction: England 1 Italy 1 

With high pressure on both sides in a tough group, and starting against a high-caliber team, a draw seems very likely. Neither team can afford to drop points if they want to advance to the round of 16, and will push for goals if they go down (which could be troubling if the defense is exposed on a counter). This will be a test of defenses in Manaus, which both teams will pass. It will be a fantastic match early in this World Cup, don’t miss it.