Never-say-die fighting spirit remains a strong part of Uruguay’s armoury plus a good quota of individual technique. Tabarez’s efforts to mould a team with these ingredients have met with mixed results and he has often had to thank the veteran element in his side for their successes, like striker Sebastian Abreu scoring the vital goal against Costa Rica in Montevideo that secured qualification when the team performance was poor.
Tabarez promoted Nicolas Lodeiro to the senior team knowing that on a good day his talent for creation in midfield will give the team an added dimension.
The centre of defence is solid and there is no shortage of candidates for the holding midfield position so quite often Uruguay play with two and try to give the full backs as much leeway as possible to attack from the flanks.
Luis Suarez and especially Diego Forlan are a good strike pair who will deliver given good service, which again is hoped for from Lodeiro.
Uruguay have a goalkeeping issue. Tabarez used four keepers and made five changes during the qualifiers, finally settling on Fernando Muslera of Lazio at the end but there is little to chose between a competent but not brilliant quartet and no-one else has emerged to challenge him from outside the squad.
Team – 5-3-2
Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Andres Scotti, Diego Lugano, Diego Godin, Alvaro Pereira; Diego Perez, Walter Gargano, Nicolas Lodeiro; Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan