Hungry Suarez will hurt England
Watch out England, Suarez is ready
URUGUAY v ENGLAND
(Friday, 3am, SingTel mio TV Ch 141 & StarHub TV Ch 223)
Luis Suarez was born to be wild.
The cannibal of Ajax and the biter of Branislav is ready to sink his teeth into England.
The Three Lions have every reason to be fearful of a horror show; a rude awakening from a nightmare in the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
Suarez has declared himself fit to play in the kind of match he was made for.
The Uruguayan striker revels in the wings of the great football theatres, cackling maniacally in the shadows before strutting to centre stage, soaking up the hisses and boos from the crowd.
If Lionel Messi is South America's superstar, then Suarez is its Death Star; designed to kill with no remorse. He's an assassin with a buck-toothed smile.
Not only will he have no regrets if he shoots down his Liverpool teammates in their do-or-die clash, but he will also cherish their humiliation, revel in the moment.
If the Englishmen were mad dogs in the twilight sun, he would positively rub their noses in it.
Roy Hodgson's jittery men are facing Suarez at his most unpredictable, with restless feet and something to prove; a killer with an itchy trigger finger.
Gary Cahill lost Mario Balotelli in the Group D opener against Italy in Manaus.
He might be filling out Suarez's name on a missing person's list in Sao Paulo.
Fair weather will now be England's friend, with the temperature expected to be a cool, breezy 20 deg C, some 10 deg C lower than the meltdown in Manaus. Rain is even predicted, which could give Sao Paulo the springtime air of Southampton on the final day of the Premier League season.
Whether the weather is hot or cold, however, Suarez is desperate to rain on England's shaky parade.
The 27-year-old dictates global events with the megalomaniacal relish of a cartoonish Bond villain.
He eagerly put his hand up to play the role in South Africa four years ago, blocking Dominic Adiyiah's goal-bound header in extra time of the quarter-final against Ghana.
When Asamoah Gyan smashed the subsequent spot-kick against the crossbar, Suarez roared in celebration. The more the world booed, the more he cheered from the sidelines.
He leaves the regrets to Frank Sinatra. Suarez does things his way. Remorse and pressure are weaknesses best left to lesser mortals. After the game, he was not apologetic. He was unrepentant.
"I made the save of the tournament,'' he shrugged.
That's a line to rival Goldfinger. All that was missing was a throne, a black cape and a theatrical laugh.
His coach, Oscar Tabarez, sees a desperate striker allowing his heart to rule his head, or his recently repaired knee.
Suarez sees the most inexperienced backline in a generation playing in front of Joe Hart and fancies his chances. He needs only one strong knee to leave the Three Lions' defence on theirs.
Phil Jagielka and Cahill didn't want for effort against the Italians. Genetic shortcomings were their downfall. They weren't quite fast enough.
Edison Cavani's power will intimidate (Balotelli's strength certainly did) but Suarez's pace, finesse and ingenuity may be a tackle too far.
The Uruguayan's delight in drifting away from centre backs, messing up their shape like a kid pummelling Play-Doh, potentially puts further pressure on Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines.
For Liverpool last season, Suarez sniffed out brittle fullbacks with the detached cunning of vultures swooping for roadside carrion.
If Baines is targeted, a poignant image may be unavoidable; the sight of a puffing Wayne Rooney tracking back to stop a striker playing a role he's trying to impersonate at the other end.
But Tabarez might still need further convincing at the final training session on the lush Sao Paulo turf tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
He offered a telling glimpse into his relationship with Suarez after the Costa Rica debacle.
Suarez had demanded his inclusion on the bench. Tabarez relented. Suarez insisted on making a second-half appearance in a bid to reduce the deficit against Costa Rica. Tabarez refused, introducing Abel Hernandez instead.
Suarez might be Darth Vader, but Tabarez remains The Emperor.
Suarez has declared himself "100 per cent'' to play, but nobody else has inside the Uruguay camp.
Still, Tabarez is a respected, canny operator and a pragmatic coach. He knows that Diego Forlan contributed little in the first game.
Even Forlan admitted that it was "really important'' that his fellow striker played against England.
Despite Suarez's bluff and bluster, he obviously isn't 100 per cent fit. He can't be. He hasn't featured since the minor knee injury.
But he's a calculated risk that the seasoned Tabarez should be willing to take. A half-fit Suarez is more than an option for Uruguay. He's probably the only option.
The humidity kept the English awake in Manaus. Suarez and Cavani will contribute to the insomnia among the Three Lions in Sao Paulo.
The World Cup has waited long enough. It's time for Suarez to make his grand entrance.
With a high number of goals and open, attacking games, the tournament has spun a captivating narrative so far.
But every story needs a good villain.
Suarez: I have 'barbarian' desire
Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has fired a "barbarian" warning to beat England in their World Cup clash on Friday morning (Singapore time).
The Liverpool striker, who missed his country's shock 3-1 Group D defeat by Costa Rica last Sunday, also appealed to Uruguayan fans to have trust in the team even though there is no word yet whether he will play in the game.
"I have a barbarian desire to help my teammates, to be able to go onto the pitch," Suarez told Ovacion Digital.
Missing the first game "left me with savage impotence", the Premier League goalscoring machine added.
Suarez had surgery on a knee meniscus three weeks ago and he said there would have been a "great risk" if he played in last Sunday's game.
"But now several more days of rehabilitation have passed and I'm better."
Suarez insisted he was ready to play if needed.
"I'm 100 per cent, if it wasn't the case, I wouldn't play. I always said I'd come back once I felt fine, once I was at 100 per cent, and now I am.
"Maybe I'm lacking some football, or rhythm, that's obvious because I've been inactive, but physically I'm in great shape."
Suarez also released a Twitter message to fans in which he said the team were determined to reach the next round, at England's expense.
England lost their first game 1-0 to Italy and are also desperate to win to get back into the qualification race.
"There have been some difficult days since the loss to Costa Rica. Wanted to thank your for the support given to us," Suarez said.
"Stay calm. We are going to give our best in the match against England. Trust us, we want to progress, we are the best."
There was considerable doom and gloom around the Uruguay camp after the defeat by Costa Rica.
"What happened the other day was a defeat that hurt but it hasn't deflated us," said Suarez.
"We need to show our character, our spirit to tackle these next two games which we need to progress."
Uruguay play Italy in their final game.
He admitted that Uruguay lacked character when they went a goal down to the Central American minnows.
"We didn't manage to get over the second goal, it drained us and set them free, they were different (after).
"But now we have a great chance for revenge on Thursday.
"It won't be easy, England have great players, those who can make a difference. They're a very strong team but, like all teams, they have strengths and weaknesses.
"What we have to do is exploit their defensive weaknesses and try to concentrate and be careful in our area."
Defeat for Uruguay or England would almost certainly mean elimination from the World Cup, and Suarez said this will play on players' minds.
"We both know what type of game we're going to play. There's no margin for error, we know we're on the limit, on the brink of elimination. That way we all know what we're playing for."
Suarez said he will put to one side personal relationships with his club teammates at Liverpool, such as captain Steven Gerrard.
"He'll give his best for his team and me for mine. We both know it's like this and this is the way it should be. Afterwards, away from the pitch, it's a different story." - AFP.