Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has described England’s meeting with Uruguay on Thursday as a “World Cup final”.
Both teams suffered defeats in their respective opening games on Saturday as La Celeste were beaten 3-1 by Costa Rica hours before Roy Hodgson’s men suffered a 2-1 reverse against Italy in Manaus.
The loss leaves Poyet’s Uruguay bottom of Group D, and the Black Cats manager talked up the significance of the two teams’ clash on Thursday evening.
Speaking to ITV Sport , for whom he is working as a World Cup analyst in Brazil, the Uruguayan said: “It’s kind of a World Cup final for England and Uruguay already.
“The next game is really important, both teams need to win. A draw is no good and whoever loses is out, so it’s a World Cup final in advance.
“It’s going to be a main game. Whoever loses will go out and a draw is not enough for either side.”
Poyet also blasted his national side for their performances against Costa Rica, but claimed that Luis Suarez will be available against England on June 19.
The Liverpool striker missed the opening game as he continued his recovery from knee surgery at the end of last month, but his compatriot thinks that the carrot of lining up against the Three Lions next week will be enough for the Reds hitman to declare himself fit.
“In the first half, there was not many players [playing well] but in the second half we were awful,” he added. “We were awful at the back and it was totally deserved that we lost.
“Suarez will be fit for the England game. If you have that game in front of you [as an incentive] then it doesn’t matter how long you are out for. I don’t think he was the solution on Saturday.”