IT is the biggest game that England have played in years.
Across Hampshire fans have been rallying behind Roy Hodgson’s troops ahead of tonight’s crunch game against Uruguay.
The sight of flags draped across windows, cars and even in Southampton landmarks is there to be seen as the city shows support for the Three Lions.
Saints fans know all about the dangers posed by Gaston Ramirez
After England’s disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Italy, fans across the county know that their qualification hopes are hinged on Roy’s boys beating Uruguay.
From Winchester to the New Forest pubs, bars and restaurants are expecting to be packed as they gear up for the vital game, which will kick off at 8pm.
Uruguay looked unimpressive when they suffered a shock 3-1 defeat against minnows Costa Rica.
But England fans know only too well that the game could rest on the fitness of star striker Luis Suarez, who has been declared fit to play.
While Saints supporters who are usually used to cheering on Uruguayan playmaker Gaston Ramirez will be praying he doesn’t show the same sporadic flashes of the brilliance that he has displayed at St Mary’s.
The game is expected to give businesses a real lift across the county and many will be watching on with interest.
It comes after the Daily Echo reported that the World Cup will boost the economy by £38m should England make it to the knockout stages.
Joint landlord of the Gordon Arms in Portswood Road, Christian David, is expecting the 8pm kick-off to bring in a big turnout of England fans.
Oceana nightclub is showing the game on 10 giant screens
The pub has bought a 60-inch projector screen so England fans won’t miss a kick.
Christian said: “We are expecting more people to come for this game, it’s an 8pm kick-off and I think it will be a really busy night here.”
Meanwhile Oceania nightclub in Leisure World will be showing the game in the bar quarter, and have got ten giant screens. They are expecting hundreds of punters to turn up for the game.