[BRAZIL 2014] Early evening kickoffs for the last World Cup match of the day in Brazil mean late-night kickoffs in England, which poses a problem for pubs, which generally close at 11 p.m. The British government has agreed to relax closing times during the World Cup, but a government forecast suggests there won't be much reason to stay out late.
According to the forecast based on betting information, England has a 54 percent probability of progressing past the group stage and just an 11 percent probability of progressing past the quarterfinals.
"It's good to know what the government thinks of England's prospects," Labour Party member Richard Rossersaid during the debate about the measure in the House of Lords.
World Cup 2014 Squads:
Group A: Brazil (23) | Cameroon (28) | Croatia | Mexico (23)
Group B:Australia (30) | Chile (30) | Netherlands (30) | Spain (30)
Group C:Colombia (30)| Greece (29)|Ivory Coast (28)|Japan (23)
Group D: Costa Rica (26) | England(23) | Italy (30) | Uruguay (25)
Group E: Ecuador (24) | France (23) | Honduras (23) |Switzerland (23)
Group F:Argentina (30) |Bosnia-Herzegovina (24) | Iran (28) | Nigeria (30)
Group G: Germany (30) | Ghana (26) | Portugal (30) | USA (30)
Group H:Algeria (30) | Belgium (24) | Russia (30) | South Korea (23)
QUICK TWITTER TRIGGER. Italian club Genoa jumped the gun when it congratulated via Twitter striker Alberto Gilardino and goalkeeper Mattia Perin on making Italy's 30-player short list for the World Cup. One small problem: the 31-year-old Gilardino didn't make the cut.
Talking Tactics ...
NEW-LOOK ORANJE. Louis van Gaal suggested on Tuesday that the Netherlands might drop its familiar 4-3-3 system and play with five defenders at the World Cup. It isn't because the Oranje was drawn in one of the toughest groups with defending champion Spain and Chile, along with Australia. It's because it will be without Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman, sidelined since March with a knee injury.
World Cup Warmups:German second-stringers held to scoreless draw
"We do not have another Kevin Strootman in the Netherlands," said van Gaal, who stressed that the move might sound defensive but will be executed in the Dutch spirit of attacking soccer.