Uruguay national football team |(c)en.wikipedia.org_800px-Flag_of_Paraguay.svgUruguay

v/s

Paraguay

. Estadio La Portada, La Serena, Chile

20th June, 2015 1900 GMT

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The finalists of the 2011 edition of Copa America go head to head in the coastal city of La Serena, about 500 kilometers north of Santiago. Uruguay came out on top on that day four years ago, but it could very well be their last game in this one if they lose.

As the group stages of this editiona s Copa America are drawing to a close, we are starting to get into the business end of the tournament. A tournament that has produced some quality goals and a few surprise results is now seeing the big guns peak and eventually qualify for the knockout stages. Among those expected to do well, are the defending champions but La Celeste have not performed to the level yet. Two 1-0 results, one in defeat and one victory, it looks like they havena t kick started their tournament yet. A draw will be good enough for them to go through as one of the 2 best third-placed teams, but they will really be looking to put one over their traditional rivals.

Paraguay, on the other hand, have had three managerial changes since the 2011 final and after failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, come into the CONMEBOL tournament with high hopes. The results have gone their way so far in the tournament, including a come-from-behind 2-2 draw against Argentina, and have all but qualified for the knockout stages.

Team news and tactics

Uruguay

Oscar Tabareza s 151st game in charge of Uruguay will see their influential captain Diego Godin miss out because of a suspension. A few personnel changes may also be seen in midfield and in the forward area seeing as how this is a crucial game for La Celeste.

They will be expected to line up in a 4-1-3-2 formation with Edinson Cavani leading the line along with Diego Rolan. Arevalo Rios will be expected to sit in front of the defence. That defence will include Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates who will fill in for the absent Godin. Carlos Sanchez is expected to return to his midfield role in place of Nicolas Lodeiro, while the rest of the team is expected to remain pretty much the same.

Tactically speaking, La Celeste will be cautious in their approach knowing that even a draw is enough for them to qualify but will be wary of their opponents who will be high on confidence after that result against Argentina and a solid win against Jamaica. In the absence of talisman Luis Suarez, they havena t really struggled for goals, it is just that they will need a lot more from their defenders and hope that their relatively inexperienced attack is able to handle the pressure.

Possible lineup (4-1-3-2): Muslera, M. Pereira, Coates, Gimenez, A. Pereira; Arevalo Rios; Sanchez, Hernandez, Rodriguez; Cavani, Rolan

preview

Paraguay

A defensive-minded La Albirroja are without injury worries or suspensions for this match, but Ramon Diaz knows the importance of this match in the context of the tournament and will set his team up accordingly.

A 4-4-2 formation with an eye on the defensive side of things is how Paraguay will be expected to set up. Veteran striker and captain Roque Santa Cruz will lead the forward line ably assisted by Raul Bobadilla. Both Victor Caceres and Nestor Ortigoza will sit in and guard the midfield, only venturing forward when needed. The rest of the team, in absence of injuries and suspensions, should pick itself.

Tactically, as they have been throughout the games so far, Diaza s men will be expected to line up defensively and hope to catch their opponents on the counter, if they really have to. As they did after going down 2-0 at halftime against Argentina and coming back to secure an impressive draw.

Possible lineup (4-4-2): Silva, Valdez, Da Silva, Aguilar, Samudio; Derlis, Caceres, Ortigoza, Ben tez; Bobadilla, Santa Cruz

Player to watch out for

Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)

Uruguay vs Guatemala

It says a lot when his only highlight of the tournament has been off the pitch when he called Jamaica a an African teama . A rather forgettable two matches does not mean his quality is to be questioned. The PSG man can light up any attack and with Uruguay in need of a leading man in absence of Suarez, a lot of eyes will be on him

Prediction

Uruguay 1 a 1 Paraguay

With both teams knowing that a draw will be enough for them, they will rarely venture in attack. A low scoring draw is what is the best bet for this match.

Blast from the past