Italy vs Uruguay preview
Italy and Costa Rica have both suffered humiliating defeats at the hands of a Costa Rican team who have been the tournament’s surprise package. Uruguay were brushed aside by the power and movement of Costa Rica while an off day at the office for midfielder Andrea Pirlo sealed Italy’s fate at the hands of Brian Ruiz. Uruguay will have to win this one as a draw would see the Italians march on to the knockout stages, thanks to their superior goal difference.
And with Costa Rica expected to name a second string XI against England, the top spot in the Group could well be for the taking if England manage to win in Belo Horizonte. Both Italy and Uruguay would ideally like to stay away with the mathematics and secure their progression first, but a Round of 16 tie against high-flying Colombia could well be a prospect both would look to avoid.
Italy narrowly edged past a spirited England side in the Amazonian outpost of Manaus, but failed to recreate their magic against Costa Rica in what was a labored display from Cesare Prandelli’s team. Marco Verratti, the stylish Paris St. Germain midfielder, could earn a start after Thiago Motta was disappointing in the previous match. There have also been suggestions that newly signed Borussia Dortmund striker Ciro Immobile may feature up front, but Mario Balotelli’s experience and big match ability could well tip the scales in his favor.
But Prandelli may have to change his style after experienced midfielder Daniele de Rossi is set to be out for “several days” after picking up a calf injury in the defeat to Costa Rica. Whether he places his faith in Thiago Motta or twitches his style to give an opportunity to winger Alessio Cerci would be something that remains to be seen if de Rossi misses out.
For Uruguay, it is a do-or-die game. A draw is no good for them as their goal difference took a significant beating at the hands of their North American counterparts.
Captain Diego Lugano is all set to miss out once again with a knee problem and Alvaro Pereira may not be risked due to a concussion he suffered against England. Full back Maximiliano Pereira could be back after serving out his suspension and Luis Suarez”s hot form will continue to keep Diego Forlan in the sidelines. Luis Suarez was clinical on Thursday as he put England to the sword and much will rest on his shoulders as Uruguay look to mastermind the demise of yet another European powerhouse.
Italy vs Uruguay Match Facts:
- Italy and Uruguay have played each other nine times. Their head-to-head record: two wins for Italy, three for Uruguay and four draws.
- Four of their matches were competitive. At the 1928 Olympics Uruguay defeated Italy. At the World Cup, Italy have won once, the other match ending in a draw (0-0 in 1970). At the 2013 Confederations Cup they met in the match for third place. After 120 minutes the score was 2-2. Italy won the penalty shootout (3-2).
- Uruguay’s victory over England last 19 June marked their first against a European team (UEFA affiliated) at the World Cup in 44 years, following their victory against Soviet Union at the 1970 World Cup. They had gone 15 straight World Cup matches without a victory against European opposition after that triumph.
- Uruguay have not beaten European opponents in back-to-back World Cup matches since 1954.
- Edinson Cavani faces PSG team-mates Salvatore Sirigu, Thiago Motta and Marco Verratti. Finally, Lazio teammates Antonio Candreva (ITA) and Álvaro González (URU) will square off.
Facts compiled from uk.eurosport.yahoo.com
Italy vs Uruguay Predicted Lineups:
Italy : Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Darmian; De Rossi, Pirlo, Verratti, Marchisio, Candreva; Balotelli.
Uruguay : Muslera; A Pereira, Gimenez, Godin, Caceres; M Pereira, Gargano, Rodriguez, Arevalo; Suárez, Cavani.
Italy vs Uruguay Prediction:
Much will depend on whether Uruguay can feed the devastating Luis Suarez. He was lethal against England and Chiellini and Barzagli will be undoubtedly given a run around by one of the top strikers in the game at the moment. For Italy, the Pirlo-Balotelli combination must work. So much of their attacking play depends on this pair, and Verratti’s expected inclusion may just allow Pirlo to control the tempo of the match.
Uruguay didn’t play well at all against England, but got a result that keeps them alive. And, with Cavani and Suarez up front, Italy will be given a real match.
For me, its Uruguay to go through with a 2-1 win!