WORLD CUP: England can hurt Uruguay insists Steven Gerrard

England's Steven Gerrard (centre) dejected after the final whistle against Italy
England's Steven Gerrard (centre) dejected after the final whistle against Italy

Steven Gerrard thinks England’s dynamic attack is more than capable of ripping Uruguay’s brittle defence apart when the two teams meet in Sao Paulo on Thursday.

England face an uphill struggle to qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup after they lost 2-1 to Italy in their opening Group D in Manaus.

Accompanying England at the bottom of the group are Uruguay, who succumbed to a surprise defeat to Costa Rica on Saturday.

The unheralded Central American side were expected to be the punch bags of Group D, but they put on a ruthless display of attacking football to beat Uruguay 3-1.

Gerrard was stunned by the comprehensive nature of Costa Rica’s win and he hopes the likes of Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck will be able to wreak havoc against the South American nation on Thursday.

“I was shocked by the result. I expected Uruguay to beat Costa Rica,” the England captain said.

“They (Uruguay) have really good firepower up front but we saw on Saturday that they are certainly beatable.

“They concede goals and if we attack like we did against Italy we will cause Uruguay big, big problems.”

Gerrard knows all about Uruguay’s capabilities at the other end of the pitch.

Paris St Germain striker Edinson Cavani led the line against Costa Rica as Luis Suarez sat out the game with a knee injury, but Gerrard thinks his Liverpool team-mate will play in Sao Paulo.

“I’m not sure where Suarez is up to injury-wise, I haven’t heard from him, but I expect him to play some part because he’s been so quiet,” Gerrard said.

England must learn lessons from their own defensive shortcomings against Italy if they are to keep Suarez at bay, according to Gerrard.

“The key is to look back on what’s happened, see what we got right but also see where we went wrong,” he said.

“We conceded two goals and we have to look at them. They created problems for us on our left side on a few occasions and we will have to look at that.”