Uruguay reached the Semi Finals in 2010, thanks to a smudge of cheating from Luis Suarez, but were very good all the same. They often start slowly, and get better and better. This time however, we think that they may struggle this time. Much of their squad is ageing, and very few young players are progressing through. Here is their squad for the 2014 World Cup:
GK’s: Fernando Muslera, Martin Silva, Rodrigo Munoz
DF’s Maximiliano Pereira, Diego Lugano, Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez, Sebastian Coates, Martin Caceres, Jorge Fucile
MF’s: Alvaro Gonzalez, Alvaro Pereira, Walter Gargano, Egidio Arevalo Rios, Diego Perez, Cristian Rodriguez, Gaston Ramirez, Nicolas Lodeiro
FW’s: Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Abel Hernandez, Diego Forlan, Christian Stuani
Uruguay really struggled in the opening stages, taking beatings from Argentina, Chile and even Bolivia. They ended up 5th, and had to go into a playoff with Jordan, whom they beat comfortably.
Ones to Watch:
Diego Godin – The centre-back has had a brilliant season with At Madrid, scoring vital goals all throughout the season. Although a little slow, his aerial ability is incredible. A key man in defence for Uruguay.
Gaston Ramirez – At Southampton he has found himself in and out of the team, but for Uruguay he is often a regular. In a midfield devoid of creativity, he will be pivotal if they are to progress.
Luis Suarez – at the last World Cup, his hand was probably better than he was for much of the tournament. This time he comes in off the back of a world class season for Liverpool, and his goals along with Cavani will determine if they go through.
(4-4-2): Muslera, Pereira, Godin, Lugano, Caceres, Rodriguez,Arevalo Rios, Gargano, Ramirez, Cavani, Suarez.
With such a deadly front pair, Uruguay often go with 4-4-2 with both upfront, and then go to 4-3-3 sometimes if things are not working out. Cristian Rodriguez is one player with a little creativity, but the rest of midfield are largely defensive. The back four is pretty slow, with Lugano – and the two full backs in Pereira and Caceresare also not exactly Usain Bolt. They are very reliant on Suarez and Cavani – an ageing squad could be their downfall.
Winner – 25/1
Group Winner – 15/8
To Qualify – 4/7
Round of Elimination: Group Stage – 5/4
Under 5.5 Group Points – 4/6
After initially thinking Italy would struggle, I have changed my mind. With nearly all the previews done, I am of the belief that Uruguay will fall in the group stage – and our Top Tip is Uruguay Under 5.5 Points at 4/6 – the best we can see is a win, a draw and a loss. 4/6 is a good price in a tough group, and it should be a close group with 4/5 points possibly enough to qualify.