The three lions of England will take on former world champions Italy in a colossal group D opening fixture on Saturday after midnight at Arena Amazonia in Manuas at 3:30 am IST.
Match: England vs Italy
Venue: Arena Amazonia, Manuas
Date: June 15th
Time: 3: 30am IST
Where to Watch Live: (See Full List HERE)
US viewers can watch the game on ESPN and ABC while the live streaming online will be available HERE.
In India, the live coverage will be on TV channels Sony Six and Sony Six HD. For live streaming of the match click HERE in India.
In Pakistan PTV Sport is the only channel with FIFA live broadcasting rights and all FIFA World Cup matches will be shown live on PTV Sport. Click HEREfor online live streaming in Pakistan.
For Live Score, visit FIFA.COM
The Poms have always been a letdown in the big tournaments and they will look to make amends in Brazil. Roy Hodgson has chosen a youthful looking side this year after the drubbing faced in the Euro 2012. He has given call ups to the likes of Sturridge, Sterling, Cahill and Lallana, all of whom have been in great form this year for their respective clubs. They form the core of this England squad in their conquest for the world cup.
Italy on the other hand has once again woven a squad around the legendary Pirlo. He has been the lynchpin of their creativity over the years and he will look to bow out of his last world cup on a high. The temperamental Balotelli and the controversial Cassano are the odd ball pairing for Italy upfront. With unlimited supply from Pirlo guaranteed, the duo need to convert the chances presented for the Azzuris to progress.
Concern for England is that Chamberlain has failed to recover from his injury and hence looks doubtful for the fixture. The Arsenal midfielder is one of the quickest players in the tournament and he would have had a field day running past the ageing Italian side.
Italy have problems of their own with injury to left back Mattia De Sciglio. This would force Prandelli to restructure his defense, giving England the upper hand.
It was Italy who knocked England out of the Euro 2012 and revenge is surely on the cards.
England (Possible, 4-2-1-3): Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling; Lallana, Sturridge, Rooney.
Italy (Possible, 4-4-2): Buffon; Abate, Bonucci, Paletta, Chiellini; De Rossi, Candreva, Pirlo, Marchisio; Balotelli, Cassano.
Prediction: 1-1 (Both sides have played out plenty of draws)
Players to watch out for:
Italy – Pirlo is the heart of the Italian midfield and he is the man England need to silence. Hs vision and flare have been Italy’s greatest assets and Roy Hodgson will have to chalk out a plan to deal with the threat.
England – Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is England’s vital player in the tournament. He has been great form for both club and country and will look to partner Rooney in their quest for the cup. His quick feet and skill will be too hot to handle for the Italians.