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World Cup: Uruguay v Italy




Italy Screenshot 2014-05-30 11.37.01

• Prandelli expected to make changes to the side following defeat to the Costa Ricans.
• If De Sciglio fit enough he is expected to start at left back with Darmian returning to right back. • Verratti expected to return in order to bring some much needed tempo into the side.




De Sciglio – LB – 60%



Expected Team

Screenshot 2014-06-24 11.03.48


It seems likely that Prandelli will make a few changes to his team following the defat by Costa Rica with left back De Sciglio being tipped for a return as he is expected to have recovered from injury in time. Abate disappointed in that defeat and is therefore expected to be removed from the team allowing Darmian to return to right back where he was so effective against England.

Motta, having replaced Verratti, could drop back out of the side for Verratti in order to bring some energy and tempo to the Italian’s game, something they have missed in both matches but they were more in need of against Costa Rica. They will need it here as they face another team who will be much more acclimatised to the conditions.

Candreva and Marchisio, both brilliant against England, were extremely ineffective against Costa Rica but should keep their places as well as central midfield duo De Rossi and Pirlo.

Balotelli’s position is one that brings about the biggest debate. Prandelli was criticised for not introducing Immobile into their last match and with none of Insigne, Cerci or Cassano having a big influence on the game when they came on, Immobile could be a contender to start here.

Bench (from): Perin GK, Sirugu GK, Abate RB, Bonucci CB, Paletta CB, Aquilani CM, Motta CM, Parolo CM, Cerci SS, Cassano ST, Immobile ST, Insigne ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Italy’s approach to this game isn’t expected to alter despite the defeat to Costa Rica. They will play a patient possession game with penetrations only attempted when deemed feasible. If they take a gung ho approach they could be exposed defensively and might struggle with the conditions later on in the match. The fact Italy only need a draw as well will see them play conservatively.
  •   If Uruguay play with a diamond formation then the ‘pockets’ of space that emerge between full back and midfield can be exploited by Candreva and Marchisio. If Darmian returns to right back then they could isolate the Uruguay left back and create from crosses. Both England and Costa Rica scored goals against Uruguay from crosses/passes down that side.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

 The motivation for each team going into this match is quite obvious as winner takes all in terms of progression to the next round. Italy have superior goal difference which means a draw is sufficient for them but they are expected to play for the win with their cautious approach in their game with Costa Rica proving ineffective.





Uruguay Screenshot 2014-05-30 11.52.00

• Luis Suarez fit enough to continue up front after suffering no reoccurrence of his injury despite cramp late on. • Lugano still undergoing treatment and seems unlikely to return.
• Maxi Pereira returns from suspension. Rest of team could remain the same.




Lugano – CB – 30% A. Pereira – LB – 50%


M. Pereira – RB – Suspension

Expected Team

Screenshot 2014-06-24 11.05.53

Team News

The positive news for Uruguay is that Luis Suarez suffered no issues with his injury in their win over England and is expected to continue up front for Uruguay alongside Cavani.

Lugano is still a major injury doubt but it seems as if the medical staff are still working with the intention of getting him fit for this game. Gimenez played well against England, arguably better than Lugano did against Costa Rica but Lugano is the captain and is still very much regarded as first choice so if fit enough he would be expected to start.

There is expected to be at least one change in defence with Maxi Pereira returning to the side following his one match ban. Caceres played at right back on Thursday and was partly at fault for Rooney’s goal whilst he didn’t play too well on the left against Costa Rica last weekend either. He may be required to operate there again however depending on the state of Alvaro Pereira who was knocked unconscious against England. He had played well up to that point so Tabarez will probably want to keep him in the side if possible.

The set-up of the team could remain the same with Uruguay successfully employing a midfield diamond to beat England. The control that gave them over midfield offensively and defensively is something they will consider in the match with Italy who themselves will want to control the match and dominate midfield numerically.

Bench (from): Munoz GK, Silva GK, Fucile RB, Caceres LB, Coates CB, Lugano CB, Stuani RM, Gargano CM, Perez CM, Ramirez AM, Hernandez ST, Forlan ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Uruguay are expected to take their preferred counter attacking approach in this match using their defensive strength in midfield to regain possession in the middle third where they can initiate dangerous moves. A draw isn’t enough for them in this game so if the score line is against them expect them to seize more control and introduce more offensive players such as Stuani, Ramirez and Forlan.
  •   Suarez is the key player for Uruguay and made a massive difference for them when he returned against England. His individual qualities are well known but his intelligent movement will be key here in deceiving the Italy defence with movements behind.
  •   Suarez’s importance is obvious but Cavani could prove a key outlet for the side in this game. If Darmian plays right back then he will surely play high up the pitch to capitalise on 2v1 situations that may occur. Cavani likes to pull over to the left and can exploit space left by the Italy right back.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

 Like Italy the motivation for the team is that the winner will progress to the next round which following an opening day defeat seemed highly unlikely at one point.


Football Form Labs Betting Preview:
Uruguay (12) v Italy (9), Tuesday 24th June 17:00 BST

Nothing separates these two countries in the betting as both are 2.8 to win the decisive final game in the Group D. A draw will be enough for Italy to progress on goal difference so Uruguay must play to get three points here. The last time the two met was in the consolation match in last year’s Confederations Cup which ended 2-2 but with such higher stakes here we shouldn’t read too much into that goalfest.

Uruguay have scored in 19 of their last 20 matches – their only failure was in a goalless draw in the second leg of their playoff to get to Brazil after winning the first leg against Jordan 5-0 – with 12 victories and 11 Over 2.5 Goals games. Furthermore, they’ve netted in 14 consecutive Finals matches although they’ve kept just five clean sheets. Uruguay’s 2-1 win over England was their first victory in 20 Finals matches against European opposition but the last three have now featured a total of 13 goals with both teams scoring each time.

Italy were dreadful in their 1-0 loss to Costa Rica as they looked exhausted. This could well have been a knock-on effect of playing their opener in the tough Manaus conditions – England, their opponents in Manaus, also looked leggy in their second match. With another long flight, the older Italian squad could well be fatigued again here and the fitter Uruguayans could take advantage. Italy have won just three of their last 12 Finals matches and only two of their last seven against South American opposition. Their form coming into this tournament was a bit of a worry and they’ve now won just one of their last nine matches generally.

Since 1990, South American teams have gone W76-D19-L9 facing European opposition in South America and Uruguay have won seven of their 12 matches in that sample. In the 14 Finals matches between two teams on three points in their third group game where one won their previous match and one lost their previous match the team with the most recent victory won on seven occasions.

Uruguay’s record against European opposition is a slight worry here but they looked good against England and we can forgive their loss to Costa Rica as Luis Suarez didn’t play. A second tough game in five days is a tough ask for Suarez but he looked sharp against England and will surely start here. With a draw enough for Italy to progress it’s wise to have a little cover as there aren’t many better teams at playing for a draw.




Uruguay to win in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market at $1.94 with Screenshot 2014-05-21 12.49.05


Screenshot 2014-06-13 12.52.23

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