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Possible Team GB starting 11 v Uruguay

Team GB head into match day three with the aim of defeating Uruguay in Cardiff on Wednesday in their bid to top Group A.

Challenging GB for top spot are Senegal who have also amounted four points out of two games and indeed Uruguay who will be requiring a victory to progress to the knockout phase.

Here, Total Football’s Taylor Williams runs the rule over Stuart Pearce's possible starting 11.


Jack Butland

It is not hard to see why there is so much excitement surrounding 19-year-old Butland with the Birmingham City keeper displaying performances much more experienced than his years at London 2012.

The 6 ft 4 stopper commands his penalty box well and is decisive in his decision making, especially alive to any onrushing attacks from opposition forwards.

Butland’s worst moment came when he kicked a ball straight to an opposing Senegal forward in match day one, almost resulting in an embarrassing goal but he has recovered well and his stock has rose and rose.

It will be extremely difficult for Lee Clark to retain his services at Birmingham City with this summers’ exposure leading many to think he is the next best thing England possess in the goalkeeping ranks to Joe Hart.


Micah Richards

Manchester City’s Richards had a shaky game in the pre-competition friendly against Brazil but Stuart Pearce has since reverted the 24-year-old to his favoured right full back position and this seems a wise move.

Richards power and strength is clear to see and his abilities to bomb on down the right flank have proved a decent weapon, especially as Team GB’s midfielders are all not naturally wide men, meaning Richards can exploit this space and double up as an attacking type of winger.

Steven Caulker

Out of the centre back pairing of Steven Caulker and James Tomkins, the former has looked more comfortable and assured when dealing with the game, both on and off the ball.

The domineering Tottenham centre half distributes the ball sensibly, and has weighed in with some impressive blocks considering his frame but the telepathy between himself and Tomkins could be improved.

Caulker is learning all the time, and definitely looks a talent for the future, especially considering Ledley King’s recent retirement.

The 20-year-old will hope for increasing playing chances at White Hart Lane this season.

James Tomkins

West Ham United’s James Tomkins has come in for a little criticism during Team GB’s recent games in that he is often slow to react and can be caught out by swift counter attacks.

The centre back is set to embark on another campaign in the top flight, following the Hammers promotion and Tomkins is one of those players who may yet be too good for the Championship, yet not quite robust enough for the rigours of the Premier League.

Nevertheless, following match day one, Caulker and Tomkins were part of the side that defeated United Arab Emirates and Pearce will be persuaded to stick with this partnership who would have learned about each other’s game in the ninety minutes, having lined up together.

Neil Taylor

If Richards was impressive on the right, Swansea City’s Neil Taylor was equally adept at left full back.

It has been a seamless transition for 23-year-old Taylor who was playing in the Blue Square Premier for Wrexham as recently as in 2010.

The St Asaph-born Welsh international has mastered the step up to the Premier League and has a great career ahead of him.

Giving little away, Taylor does the small things correctly and he will need to be competent once more in the fixture against Uruguay.


Tom Cleverley

Cleverley has been lauded as the future of Manchester United for a little while now and he finally produced something of a stellar performance in the game against United Arab Emirates.

Comfortable at interchanging with midfield partners Joe Allen, Ryan Giggs and Aaron Ramsey, Cleverley is versatile and almost put the gloss on a fantastic move as Craig Bellamy cut the ball back to the United youngster who unfortunately struck both posts with his effort just before half time.

At ease with the ball at his feet, Cleverley’s industrious runs will again be required as he will look to further build on his reputation going forward.

Joe Allen

It’s no wonder Allen is subject of reported interest from his former manager, Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool with the Welshman pulling the strings in the heart of the Team GB midfield.

Allen is much like midfield partner Aaron Ramsey in that he always wants the ball and isn’t afraid to try an ambitious pass and this isn’t surprising considering his exposure in Swansea City’s famed midfield last season that played some attractive on the floor football.

Allen will again need to be conservative in his attacking play, sitting at the base of the midfield and making sure he has cover in Giggs and Cleverley when he decides to burst forward.

Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs capped his first international tournament with the opener in Team GB’s victory against United Arab Emirates on match day two.

It’s clear to see the respect and admiration the younger players see in Giggs and his inclusion has certainly been worthwhile with the Manchester United veteran producing some fine crosses and free kicks thus far.

Always aware of space and who is around him, Giggs uses the ball wisely and never usually passes into areas of pressure, keeping it simple and building Team GB’s confidence through possession.

He may not manage the 90 minutes again in his native Cardiff on Wednesday but he is sure of an amazing reception at the Millennium Stadium.

Aaron Ramsey

The comeback kid in Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey reminded everyone of the talent he possesses with an impressive showing in his first start against UAE on Wednesday.

One of the more advanced midfield options in the squad, Ramsey impressed with a few bursting runs supporting both Marvin Sordell in the first half and Daniel Sturridge in the second.

It is clear to see how Ramsey fits in with the Arsenal philosophy, always unafraid to receive the ball and get his head up and stride forward with purpose.

Ramsey received criticism for running out of steam at the end of last season, but with appearances in the Premier League rising and rising, in terms of experience, Ramsey is only going to get better.


Daniel Sturridge

Relegated to the bench to make way for Marvin Sordell in the game against the UAE, Sturridge is likely return to the starting 11, having masterfully slotted home a fine chip against Ahmed Mahmoud from the bench in the 3-1 victory.

Sturridge (pictured) doesn’t always have an end product and has been blamed for often running blindly down cul-de-sacs but his pace and power is an asset that Pearce is eager to get the best out of.

Again, he may not manage the ninety minutes after recently contracting viral meningitis but Sturridge has proved in the tournament thus far that he is feeling okay and ready to compete.

Craig Bellamy

Arguably the man of the match in Wednesday’s encounter with the United Arab Emirates, Craig Bellamy’s pace and trickery down the left flank was one of the main reasons Team GB were successful.

Leaving the field to a standing ovation at Wembley, the Liverpool forward channelled his energies positively by running at full backs, committing them and leading the team by example as one of the over age pros.

Out of all 18 players in the squad, there is always usually an end product to Bellamy’s play and a similar performance against Uruguay would give Team GB half a chance in their attacking exploits.

By Taylor Williams - Follow me on Twitter @Taylor_Will1989 - Visit my blog:

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