Uruguay just about made it to this year’s World Cup finals following a dismal qualifying stage. Finishing 5th in the South American qualifying stage they needed a playoff against Jordan to be present in Brazil. A 5-0 thrashing followed by a dull 0-0 ensured Uruguay would be part of the tournament held on their home continent.
Below is the Uruguayan World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad)
Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica), Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion), Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Nacional), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Jorge Fucile (Porto)
Midfielders: Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio), Alvaro Pereira (Sao Paulo), Walter Gargano (Parma), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Morelia), Diego Perez (Bologna), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo)
Manager: Oscar Tabarez
A strong front line papers over the defensive frailties that this team has. Lugano is not the performer he once was and can be liable to a reckless challenge now and again. Carecas is hardly first choice at Juventus and has had injury issues in the past. The major issue facing Tabarez and Uruguay at the moment is the injury to Luiz Suarez. He has been in immense form for Liverpool and to potentially lose a player of his calibre will be a hammer blow to their chances.
Cavani will relish playing as a central striker after being made to do a wingers role at his club, PSG all season. Apparently looking to move on already this could well be a distraction that he need not have. Player of the 2010 tournament Forlan now playing for Cerezo Osaka in Japan, will most likely start on the bench as age has begun to catch up with him.
The best it will get for Uruguay is the group stages. Placed in a very difficult group I would fully expect England and Italy to qualify for the second stage. On the plus side they face Costa Rica first and if they win that then the confidence will be high going into the following matches and then anything is possible. If Suarez doesn’t regain full fitness by the time of the tournament, than Uruguay could well be in for a torrid time. Regardless of having Cavani and Forlan, Suarez really does strike fear into opposing defenders hearts and to not have him, physiologically, will be a major bonus for England, Italy and Costa Rica.