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England to keep it clean in World Cup group stage is 14/1

| 29.05.2014

Just a fortnight is left before Brazil kick their World Cup off in the Maracana, but today’s Coral World Cup countdown special concerns England.

Punters can get enhanced odds of 14/1 on Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions not conceding in their Group D games against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Here’s why this is a hugely worthwhile bet.

It was just less than two years ago when England, under Hodgson, took on Italy at Euro 2012. That was a quarter-final knock-out tie, so there had to be a winner, and it took a penalty shoot-out to separate the Azzurri and Three Lions.

The salient point is this – England kept a clean sheet in their last tournament meeting with Italy, so there is no reason why they cannot do so again. In the European section of qualifying, Hodgson’s charges sealed six shut-outs as they topped a tough group that contained opposition like Poland and Ukraine.

Uruguay, meanwhile, may be without the man who made the biggest contribution to them reaching the finals, Luis Suarez. He was top scorer in the South American section of qualifying, but has undergone keyhole surgery on a meniscus tear.

Despite Liverpool teammate Glen Johnson’s insistence Suarez will be fit to face the Three Lions in their second group game, knee injuries are a serious business. How fit will Uruguay’s record scorer be?

Veteran Diego Forlan will of course be on hand to deputise as well as Edinson Cavani in attack for Oscar Tabarez’s La Celeste, but that real and present danger Suarez gives his country would be absent.

Finally, Costa Rica are relative unknown quantities in this pool. Their star players are largely in attack, but the likes of Joel Campbell (Olympiakos) and Bryan Ruiz (PSV Eindhoven) have not been playing at the highest level week in, week out this term.

Check back tomorrow for yet another Coral World Cup countdown special.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.