Uruguay were heavily reliant on Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani to qualify. They will need help some help in Russia.
Uruguay World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
Uruguay started like a train and then came badly off the rails, with three defeats in the middle of a run of six games with just one win. But with a refreshed midfield they regained momentum and qualified for the 2018 World Cup in relative comfort.
Key Moments In Qualifying
Despite the absence of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, they kick off with convincing wins away to Bolivia and at home to Colombia providing a morale-boosting start and a tribute to
the depth of the squad.
Still without Suarez, Uruguay are ruthless in their use of set-pieces and with quick, direct attacks they chalk up a comfortable 3-0 win at home to continental champions Chile.
A 2-1 loss to Peru is their third defeat in a row – and on each occasion they had taken the lead. The sudden lack of defensive steel looks a real problem, and it got worse in June’s friendlies when they lose 3-1 to the Republic of Ireland and 3-0 to Italy.
A few days after a goalless draw with Argentina, in which Uruguay hardly crossed the halfway line, a 2-1 win away to Paraguay effectively seals qualification.
Uruguay World Cup Group
Uruguay World Cup Friendlies
Uruguay will play a World Cup friendly against Uzbekistan on the 8th of June.
- 8th June – Uzbekistan
Uruguay World Cup Fixtures
Uruguay will open their World Cup account against the Mohamed Salah led Egyptian team on the 15th June. On the 20th June they will then play Saudi Arabia, and finally the hosts Russia on the 25th of June.
- 15th June – Egypt
- 20th June – Saudi Arabia
- 25th June – Russia
Oscar Tabarez, age 70 (03.03.47)
Appointed for a second spell in charge in March 2006 and is approaching the end of what will surely be the last job of his career. Has put Uruguay back on the map, with his greatest achievement probably overseeing an enormously successful under-20 project.
Skilful, dynamic and often controversial, Luis Suarez is the team’s main attacking weapon and their biggest hope of glory. The country’s all-time top goalscorer is preparing for his third World Cup – and the last he will play close to his peak years.
Edinson Cavani was South America’s top scorer in qualification, leading the attacking line when Suarez was missing or playing alongside him and dropping deeper. Team captain Diego Godin is the respected organiser of the defensive line who, although he may be losing a little pace, remains a vital figure and scores important goals.
Just 32 players were used in qualification and most of the old guard are still in and around the squad, with the exception of injury-hit Alvaro Pereira.
All-round midfielder Federico Valverde was promoted from the under-20 side, bringing quality and controlled possession, and helping to change the characteristics of the side. Along with Rodrigo Bentancur, he represents the start of a generational change.
Uruguay World Cup Squad
Uruguay are yet to announce their 2018 World Cup Squad
Uruguay World Cup Injuries
We will update you with all the injuries regularly.
The Unanswered Questions
Who will supply Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani?
Oscar Tabarez finally seems to have given up on Gaston Ramirez as a playmaker, so it could fall to current favourite Giorgian De Arrascaeta to open up opposing defences.
Does the defensive unit lack pace?
There is certainly a fear that if the team push up then the defence can be by-passed too easily. Since the 4-1 home defeat by Brazil in March, Tabarez has not chosen Sebastian Coates alongside Diego Godin and has dropped holding midfielder Egidio Arevalo Rios.
Can Suarez get through a World Cup without picking up a suspension?
In 2010 he missed the semi-final after being sent off for his notorious handball against Ghana. Four years later he rushed back from injury to help Uruguay into the knockout stage but was thrown out of the competition for biting.
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