Talented Uruguay come with reputation as big game bottlers

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You have to go back to 1990 for the last time Uruguay progressed beyond the group stage of the World Cup and by our reckoning there is slim chance they will manage it in South Africa.

Short of World Cup experience, the Uruguay squad may struggle to find the belief that they can finish above a jubilant host nation, a skilful 2006 finalist and a higher-ranked Mexico side.

Uruguay squeaked through qualifying, having finished fifth in the South American group, after beating Costa Rica by the odd goal over a two-legged play-off.

This was the same Costa Rica side that Mexico – one rung above Uruguay in the FIFA rankings – breezed past 2-0 and 3-0 in the CONCACAF qualification group.

Uruguay won only six of 18 matches during the league phase of qualification and lost at home to Maradona’s under fire Argentina in the final game of the campaign when a win would have seen them through. If a similar lack of big game nerve surfaces at the World Cup it would prove fatal.

Despite a population of just 3.3 million, Uruguay have a thoroughly talented squad of players with the majority currently performing well in Europe. In Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez – a reported Manchester United target – they possess two goal-getters in great form who will threaten any defence. But a total of ten goals in ten qualification matches outside of Uruguay is perhaps a better reflection on how they might fare in South Africa.

Do you agree with us that Uruguay are destined for elimination at the group stage? Then back it at 4/5.

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