LUIS SUAREZ insists he will be “100 per cent fit” to face England and is ready to prey upon their defensive shortcomings.
The Liverpool striker is set to return to the starting line-up in Sao Paulo having been an unused substitute for the opening defeat to Costa Rica as he continued his recovery from knee surgery.
Suarez delivered the upbeat prognosis on his fitness as England striker Wayne Rooney took it upon himself to do extra shooting practice and training drills in his bid to underline his importance.
England anticipated Suarez being fit and can now expect a searching examination of their capabilities after the forward signalled his intent to tap into the knowledge he built up in terrorising Premier League defences last season.
“I’m 100 per cent, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” said Suarez. “I was looking forward to getting involved and I wanted to help against Costa Rica, but maybe it was better I didn’t because fate could have played a trick on me.
“I never thought I was going to lose out on playing in the World Cup because of injury. I didn’t miss a day of recovery time and, if I play, it’s because I’m 100 per cent fit.
“I know all the players in the England team, either as team-mates at Liverpool or as rivals at other clubs in the Premier League. They have defensive weaknesses that we can exploit, but I’m not going to tell the media how we will do so.
“We have to play our own way, with our own style, if we are going to progress. But trust in us. No one wants us to go forward in the tournament more than we do as a team.”
It’s do or die. It’s a World Cup. I’m hungry, I’m confident, and I’m so happy to go out there
Rooney, meanwhile, is hoping for the chance to make his mark and revive England’s Group D campaign following the 2-1 defeat to Italy in Manaus.
While those who started in the Arena da Amazonia took part in a warm-down session at England’s Urca training base yesterday, Rooney trained more vigorously with a second group of nine who had either been substitutes or not featured in the loss to the Italians.
Rooney also worked on his sharpness by undertaking his own passing and shooting routines while the other squad members played in a small-sided game.
The forward’s role for England has come under scrutiny after he started on the left against Italy but, according to FIFA’s official statistics, Rooney ran 11,223 metres in the heat and humidity of Manaus.
That was more than any other player – Claudio Marchisio was second with 11,152m – and he also ran the most in possession of the ball, 4,477m.
Meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge issued a stirring rallying cry to back up his claim that Engalnd will take on Uruguay with the same adventurous attitude with which they attacked Italy.
“I’m going to do anything in my power to win this game. I’m prepared to do anything, and I’m talking anything,” he said.
“It’s do or die. It’s a World Cup. I’m hungry, I’m confident, and I’m so happy to go out there.
“Do we want to go home? No. I want to win this World Cup like everyone back there does. I’d be gutted to go out. I’d be devastated to go out in the group stage.
“I’m not saying I’m going to dive or do anything that’s not within the laws of the game, but I will do anything, like my team-mates, to win this game.
“Within the rules of the game, I’ll do anything in my power to win. Just like every Uruguayan player will. They’re hungry and want to go through. We want to go through. We’ll work our socks off more than we’ve ever done before and do anything we can.
“I will stay on my feet. I will never dive on purpose. I’m not going to handball a goal shot because it’s not in my nature.”