WORLD CUP 2014: Group D confirmed runners, riders & predictions

In our analysis of some of the biggest competing countries in this summers world cup, we have focused mainly on those in the top 10 of the current FIFA World rankings. However as we are now less than 24 hours away from the start of the biggest tournament in world football, treat this as your full list and reference point for the 23 man squads for every single country playing in this summers competition. Alongside the squad listing, @93elby will also be posting his star man, his hot prospect, his dark horse and where he thinks each team will finish this summer.

Now… What does Group D have to offer?

GROUP D SQUADS IN FULL

Uruguay:

Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad).

Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica), Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion), Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Jorge Fucile (Porto).

Midfielders: Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio), Alvaro Pereira (Sao Paulo), Walter Gargano (Parma), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Morelia), Diego Perez (Bologna), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo).

Forwards: Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain), Abel Hernandez (Palermo), Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka), Christian Stuani (Espanyol)

STAR MAN: Luis Suarez
The winner of every accolade in the Premier League this season (except the league title) Suarez is undoubtedly the best striker in the Premier League and arguably in Europe. Expect goals, goals, goals.

HOT PROSPECT: Jose Maria Gimenez
The young Atletico Madrid defender has had little gametime to date for the current Liga BBVA champions but his introduction into the national team and exposure in the World Cup may provide him a springboard to launch his career at the highest level.

DARK HORSE: Nicolas Lodeiro
Highly influential at the last world cup in which Uruguay qualified and challenged in the very latter stages, Lodeiro will look to link up with the likes of Cavani, Suarez and Forlan in producing attacks and consequent goals.

WHERE WILL THEY FINISH IN GROUP D? 3rd Place

Costa Rica:

Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas (Levante), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense) Daniel Cambronero (Herediano).

Defenders: Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus Crew), Michael Umana (Saprissa), Oscar Duarte (Bruges), Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew), Dave Myrie (Herediano), Junior Diaz (Mainz 05), Christian Gamboa (Rosenborg), Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls).

Midfielders: Celso Borges (AIK), Christian Bolanos (Copenhagen), Esteban Granados (Herediano), Michael Barrantes (Aalesund), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa), Diego Calvo (Valerenga), Jose Miguel Cubero (Herediano).

Forwards: Bryan Ruiz (PSV Eindhoven, on loan from Fulham), Joel Campbell (Olympiakos, on loan from Arsenal), Randall Brenes (Cartagines), Marco Urena (FC Kuban Krasnodar).

STAR MAN: Keylor Navas
The Costa Rican shot stopper beat the likes of Valdes, Courtois and Casillas to be named the 13/14 liga BBVA goalkeeper of the season and his handwork in net may prove to be vital if Costa Rica stand any chance this summer.

HOT PROSPECT: Joel Campbell
Although contracted to Arsenal, Joel Campbell is yet apply his trade in the Premier League however his goal and performance for Olympiakos against Manchester United shown us exactly what the young star is fully capable of.

DARK HORSE: Bryan Ruiz
Perhaps lost his way a little as Fulham struggled with a depleted squad and more managers than Ruiz managed goals in his time at the club. However in recent months, Ruiz has refound his form for PSV in a league where he first made his name.

WHERE WILL THEY FINISH IN GROUP D? 4th place

England:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson (both Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)

STAR MAN: Steven Gerrard
The glue which keeps the rest of the side stuck together, the ever reliable Steven Gerrard offers leadership and discipline, two things which will be useful for the younger members of the side. As long as he doesn’t slip, he can cause sides several problems and is ultimately our star man.

HOT PROSPECT: Ross Barkley
After bursting onto the scene in the 13/14 season, Ross Barkley offers a fearless attacking attitude different to that of an ageing Lampard and a very careful Jack Wilshere. As an impact sub, Barkley is by far England’s best weapon and a real game changer.

DARK HORSE: Glen Johnson
Slated left right and centre by England fans recently for his performances in recent friendlies, Glen Johnson knows exactly how World Cup competitions work and with several caps to his name, his attacking threat and sufficient defensive capabilities should stand England in good stead.

WHERE WILL THEY FINISH IN GROUP D? 2nd place (hopefully!)

Italy:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St-Germain), Mattia Perin (Genoa).

Defenders: Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini (all Juventus), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), Ignazio Abate, Mattia De Sciglio (both AC Milan), Matteo Darmian (Torino).

Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio (both Juventus), Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti (both Paris St-Germain), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Marco Parolo (Parma), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina).

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli).

STAR MAN: Giorgio Chiellini
The likes of Nesta, Maldini and Cannavaro set a precedent whereby defence can be the best form of attack and this is the case in 2014 for Italy. How well Italy get forward will be down to how well they defend and distribute the ball and Chiellini will be key to keeping Italy’s defence solid.

HOT PROSPECT: Mattia De Sciglio
Although it may look like the young defender may miss the opening group game against England following an injury in training, the defender who can play both RB and LB is not just a massive talent but one who has adapted to the pressures of the Serie A and international football in very little time.

DARK HORSE: Alessio Cerci
Ended the season with a missed penalty which subsequently meant Torino didn’t qualify for the Europa League (until the ban on Parma’s european license was upheld) but has performed excellently throughout the 38 game Serie A season. A fantastic impact substitution and links up well with fellow domestic team mate Ciro Immobile.

WHERE WILL THEY FINISH IN GROUP D? 1st place

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