WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Uruguay

WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Uruguay

COACH – Oscar Tabarez
BEST SHOWING – Winners 1930, 1950
QUALIFICATION – 5th in CONMEBOL (defeated Jordan in a play-off)
TOURNAMENT ODDS – 30/1 (PaddyPower)
FIXTURES
June 14th – Costa Rica (2000 BST, Fortaleza, ITV)
June 19th – England (2000 BST, Sao Paulo, ITV)
June 24th – Italy (1700 BST, Natal, ITV)

Button England Button Italy Button Costa Rica

Uruguay have previous in Brazil, pulling off an almighty upset to defeat the home nation in the 1950 World Cup. This time around they have a feeling they can repeat that feat and lift a third World Cup. They made a meal out of qualifying but easily overcame Jordan in the playoffs – but they also needed a play-off to make South Africa and look what happened there.

Not that much has changed since 2010 but the squad have a few more years’ experience and some of them are coming off the finest season of their careers.

Fernando Muslera continues between the sticks and he’s one of those goalkeepers that can pull off a world class save and make a cock-up seconds later.

The captain Diego Lugano leads and organises the Uruguayan defensive unit partnering Diego Godin, while Tabarez has options at full back – Alvaro Gonzalez, Maxi Pereira, Martin Caceres and Jorge Fucile are all capable of playing on either flank. Gonzalez can also play on the wing if needed.

Arevalo Rios is their defensive midfielder with Christian Rodriguez as the playmaker behind Luis Suarez. If Suarez is unavailable the alternatives are Edison Cavani, Abel Hernandez and Diego Forlan. 

Uruguay are well drilled and their midfield support their defence ably and at times they are hard to break down. Their vulnerability lies in getting caught on the counter or coming up against pacy attackers as the defence have a knack of committing sloppy fouls and losing discipline.

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imageONE TO WATCH

LUIS SUAREZ

AGE – 27
HEIGHT – 5’11
CURRENT CLUB – Liverpool
2013/14 APPEARANCES – 38
2013/14 GOALS – 31
2013/14 ASSISTS – 13

The population of Montevideo will be praying that Suarez recovers from a knee injury in time to take Brazil by storm. Primed to become public enemy number one on these shores, Suarez attracts controversy and for good reason too. He propelled himself to a degree of infamy when he blocked a Ghanaian goal-bound header in the 2010 quarter final but when Ghana missed their chance to capitalise and Uruguay pulled through a penalty shoot-out his infamy increased.

I could probably do a full profile on the controversies that come with Suarez and his way of getting into the papers for the wrong reasons but this past season has seen less controversy and he’s been one of the main reasons that Liverpool nearly won the Premier League title.

He’s added an unselfish edge to his play and finally been more clinical with his finishing. He’s skillful, he knows when to differentiate and when he should pass and when he should shoot and can drift in from wide areas or play a more central role, all the while attracting markers and freeing up teammates.

The problem is he’s a walking suspension, he’s served lengthy bans on a few occasions in Holland and England and has more than once been labelled a diver. If he can maintain his temperament and bring his full game to the show there’ll be much love in Uruguay and much booing in England when he comes back for the new season.

HERE COMES D-JUDGE
D-Judge

This is a tough group and I wouldn’t like to call who’ll go through here. What Uruguay can’t afford to do is look past their first opponents Costa Rica. If the Costa Ricans can get a result the game changes for the Uruguayans and even if they do beat them they have to defeat England or Italy to advance.

They’re in South America, the conditions will favour them more than the Italians or the English but what they can’t do is lose their discipline. They’re tough to break down yet vulnerable against pace, but they also possess weapons that can hurt any side.

On their day the Uruguayans can beat anyone and they’ll be fancied to advance here. A repeat of South Africa isn’t entirely out of the question here.

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VERDICT

If they advance, I predict the last eight.

world cup Brasil emblem 01

Diego Goodin (D-Good)
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @DGood83


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