World Cup 2014 Team-by-Team Guide: Uruguay can upset England
Past tournaments: 1930, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1986, 1990, 2002, 2010
Previous Best: Winners – Uruguay 1930 and Brazil 1950
How they got here: Uruguay started their campaign in emphatic style, going five games unbeaten and claiming a 4-0 win over Chile. However England fans will be buoyed by the six-game winless streak that ultimately saw them require a playoff win to qualify. A 3-2 win over Argentina and the 5-0 win against Jordan, however, do highlight the team’s knack for scoring goals.
Star man: Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
Uruguay’s World Cup preparations have suffered a major potential set-back with star man Luis Suarez undergoing knee surgery just 24 days before the tournament kicks-off. If he’s fit then there’s no doubt he’ll be a handful for any side but even if he makes it onto the pitch there will still be question marks over his match fitness.
However, let’s reflect on the Uruguayan’s form. What a season the Liverpool player has had. A tally of 31 goals in 37 club appearances and a host of top individual honours now have people outside Anfield mentioning Suarez in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and rightly so.
The 27-year-old does not struggle to carry his form onto the international scene either, with 38 strikes from his 77 caps so far.
Suarez critics often highlight his lack of effectiveness against the bigger domestic teams but as recent goals against Argentina and Spain attest this is not something that blights his international record.
Watch as Suarez helps himself to four goals in Uruguay’s 4-0 qualification win over Chile:
Under the radar: Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
Once linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, Godin has been a defensive stalwart in the Atletico Madrid team that is on the brink of a historic La Liga and Champions League double.
With Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan up top Uruguay’s defensive attributes are often ignored or derided but the with 21 cleans sheets in Spain this season – including two against Barcelona – the 28-year-old will be confident of keeping Italy, England and Costa Rica’s strikers at bay.
A total of 11 yellow cards for Atleti mean Godin is unlikely to remain under the radar for long but if he can find his best form group stage qualification is a real possibility.
A defensive ace he may be, but England will hope for more of this:
Team nutcase: Diego Perez (Bologna)
Ousting Suarez as the player most likely to blow up takes some doing but Uruguay are not short of contenders with almost all of their defenders collecting yellow cards like they were Panini stickers.
Bologna’s former Monaco defender Perez is perhaps the most likely to stir up some trouble though.
The 33-year old has racked up a whopping 72 yellow cards and four early baths in his domestic career to date and 21 yellows and one red for Uruguay show a hot head that could hamper his sides chances of progression in Brazil.
How will they get on?
With England and Italy providing stiff competition in Group D Uruguay will need to be at the top of the game to make it past the first round.
But with the winners of a relatively weak Group C awaiting the runners-up a quarter final berth should be a given if they can escape.
However, that looks about as far as they can go this time round, with tournament favourites Brazil most likely to be their opponents in the last eight.
Best bet: Quarter Final elimination @ 13/5
How far do you think Uruguay can go at the World Cup? Tweet @JamesLCParry with your views now!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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