World Cup: Luis Suárez favourite to open scoring against Italy

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Liverpool striker Luis Suárez has been made the bookmakers’ favourite to score the opening goal in the Uruguay-Italy match this evening.

Uruguay need a win to progress from Group D, whilst a draw is enough for Italy to finish as runners-up by virtue of a better goal difference from only losing 1-0 to Costa Rica compared to Uruguay’s 3-1 defeat.

Both Italy and Uruguay beat England 2-1.

Luis Suárez is an attractive 5.5 to open the score at the Arena das Dunas in Natal this evening.

Italy looked unimpressive in attack versus Costa Rica in their last game. They were caught offside by the Central American side on 11 occasions.

That said, the European side were able to keep the game close. Neither they nor Uruguay have created too many clear-cut chances in their opening two matches.

I am expecting a defensive start from Italy in this match who know that a point is enough to see them through. A win could see them top Group D should England beat Costa Rica, but I expect they’ll be more conscious in avoiding defeat than risk heavily going for the win.

Therefore I think backing the draw at half-time is a solid bet with Uruguay going gung-ho in the second half.

Uruguay-Italy to draw at half-time is 2.05.

In Group D’s other match, England face Costa Rica. The Central American side know a draw is enough to win the group whilst Roy Hodgson has announced 9 changes from his side that lost to Uruguay.

Captain Steven Gerrard has been dropped with the armband being handed over to Frank Lampard. Fellow Liverpool teammates Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Glen Johnson are also out the side but Daniel Sturridge remains up front.

The Liverpool hitman is the bookmakers’ favourite to score in this match against a Costa Rica side that many are expecting to make changes and rest a few players ahead of their round of 16 tie.

Daniel Sturridge is 2.25 to score anytime.

England are fielding a fresh young side who have been labelled as having a lot of potential. The likes of Luke Shaw, Jack Wilshere, Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana all start. Roy Hodgson also has the likes of Sterling and Liverpool’s new signing Rickie Lambert to throw on in the second half.

No pressure and a lot of freedom from players who want to prove they are good enough to start for England ahead of their qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 which begins with a trip to Switzerland in September.

England are 1.83 favourites to beat Costa Rica.