Sports

GROUP D

ITALY

Star man: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan)

One to watch: Marco Verratti (Paris St Germain)

Coach: Cesare Prandelli (above)

Qualified: Europe group winners

Best World Cup: Winners (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006)

Predicted group finish: 1

Cesare Prandelli’s Azzurri performed well in reaching the Euro 2012 final and would love nothing more than to equal Brazil’s record of five title successes in their own back yard. Squad is inexperienced, with key players heading to aWorld Cup for the first time.


URUGUAY

Star man: Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

One to watch: Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafoga)

Coach: Oscar Tabarez (above)

Qualified: Intercontinental play-off

Best World Cup: Winners (1930, 1950)

Predicted group finish: 2

The Copa America holders needed a play-off against Jordan to book their place after finishing out of the top four of the South American qualifying section.With players like Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, though, they have more than enough ability to cause problems.