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England boosted after chink in Uruguayan ironman appears

| 22.05.2014

If training in three layers of clothing in the Portugal heat hadn’t given England the best opportunity of performing well at this summer’s Brazilian World Cup, then news coming out of the Uruguay camp certainly will.

Scourge of many-an-Englishman during the course of the Premier League this season, Luis Suarez was due to do battle with the men picked by Roy Hodgson to represent the Three Lions when his Uruguay side faced England in Group D.

However, the Liverpool striker, who is 14/1 to win the Golden Boot, has suffered a knee injury during a World Cup training camp and will likely undergo immediate surgery with his spot at the tournament in serious doubt.

Having had the injury flagged up by an MRI scan, Uruguay were still weighing up whether to have their star man’s knee operated on, but are expected to go ahead with that course of action in order to try and get the striker to Rio.

Uruguay are the second-favourites, at 9/5, to win Group D but will likely see both that price and their chances drift should Suarez fail to get fit in time.

The news means England’s 11/5 odds to win the group, which also contains Italy and Costa Rica, are suddenly looking a whole lot more tempting.

Fernando Torres suffered a similar injury to Suarez prior to the 2010 World Cup and was out for seven weeks, while the worst-case scenario for the former Ajax man would be a four-month layoff.

If Suarez misses the World Cup, Paris Saint-Germain front man Edinson Cavani will be expected to shoulder the goalscoring burden, with 35-year-old veteran Diego Forlan, initially set for a substitute role, likely stepping into Suarez’s place in the starting XI.

Since signing for Liverpool in 2011, Suarez hasn’t missed a single match through injury and is often credited with having super-human durability.

It certainly looks like that trait will be tested to its limits.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.