World Cup 2014: First Game Against Italy is Most Important For England

By Craig Pearson
Wayne Rooney and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrate an England goal vs Brazil
Getty Images

At this year’s World Cup in Brazil, England will be taking a youthful looking squad as they take a somewhat new direction after the years of disappointment they have endured. Young players who have shot to prominence in the Premier League in the last couple of years will predominantly make up the revamped England squad.

Though, having a less experienced team brings with it some good things as well as some bad things, although manager Roy Hodgson has managed to select a pretty balanced squad in terms of youth vs. experience. The dangerous thing about a young team for the opposition is that the further the young team goes, the more dangerous they become; the more they win, the more they believe.

That is why England’s first group game against Italy will be the most crucial for the Three Lions in Group D. A win over Italy would give them a fantastic chance to qualify, and from that point on, anything can happen when you have a young team growing in confidence. On the contrary, a loss to the Azzurri could also be damaging, especially with a tough game against Uruguay four days later. In a span of four days, the tournament could be over for the young Lions.

A win, or even a draw with a good performance, could be the perfect confidence builder for a young, but clearly talented team. England could very well end up being one of the dangerous teams to keep an eye on if they are to make the knockout stages. To do that, though, they will want to get off to a positive start in their group and for the momentum and confidence to build from there. The best way to do that is with a positive result against Italy, in what will be the most important game of Group D for England.


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