Preston North End forward Kevin Davies believes the Three Lions have what it takes to go one better than last Saturday, and collect all three points against Uruguay tonight.
Davies, who himself is a former England international with one cap to his name, thinks the side that fell short to Italy is more than capable of beating the Uruguayans with one or two alterations.
But the 37-year-old reckons that keeping under-fire Wayne Rooney in the side is pivotal for Roy Hodgson’s men in Sao Paulo.
“There’s no doubt I’d still put (Wayne) Rooney in the starting eleven.” The former Bolton man told PNE.Com in an exclusive interview.
“But I’d play him behind (Daniel) Sturridge instead of down the wing because Rooney, being the attacking player he is, left his full back exposed at times in the game against the Italians the other night.”
“I think there’s a big performance still to come from England – they were good against Italy, but they weren’t great, so it’s really important we turn up tonight because as a country, we need to make the last 16 to show that we’re moving in the right direction.
“We’ve got a great chance against a Uruguay side who were disappointing against Costa Rica at the weekend.
“They’ve got a couple of injuries and suspensions to deal with so it’s a good opportunity for an England side full of confidence to take the game to them.”
Davies has been keeping a close eye on proceedings in South America with many countries impressing the Sheffield born striker since the world cup started seven days ago.
But the PNE man admits that when it comes to picking a winner for the tournament, Davies can’t quite decide who to go for when choosing who’ll come out on top on the 13th of July.
“There’s so many good teams to choose from, and with the World Cup being so unpredictable, it’s really hard to pick a winner,” added Davies.
“Germany look strong, as do Holland and Argentina, but what’s really stuck out for me is how entertaining the games have been, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far.”
Despite catching world cup fever, PNE’s number nine has still found the time to prepare for the next season, and keep in shape for the 2014/15 campaign which begins in 51 days time.
And as well as keeping fit, the forward has occupied himself during the close season with several media appearances whilst working towards his A license.
“We’ve got a four week programme leading in to pre-season to keep in shape,” continued Davies.
“But I’ve also been doing my A licence which involves playing and watching a lot of football six to seven hours a day for a week.
“It was a really intense week but it was a bit like a mini pre-season for me as well so it was a useful few days.
“I’ve started doing some fitness and gym work as well – it’s two week today until we go back, so I’ll use this fortnight to lay the foundations before coming back to training.
“The way it is now, we’re expected to still be fit going into pre-season so that we can continue from where we left off to make sure we’re in the best possible shape come the 3rd July."