Uruguay may not be the favourites to win the Cup but they definitely pack a punch with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani up top. They surprised everyone when they reached the semi-final in 2010, and can do the same this time as well with Luis Suarez playing the Diego Forlan role.
Uruguay definitely have the strongest striking duo at the World Cup in Luis Suarez and Edi Cavani but they lack an adequate backup for them, if either of them gets injured or decides to bite any player. They have a young and inexperienced midfield and this is where the problem lies for them. Although they have added pace to their otherwise fragile midfield with Juventus youngster Rodrigo Bentancur and Inter Milan’s Matias Vecino, they still lack depth. In defence, they have the Atletico Madrid duo of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez, who form a very powerful defensive core. Fernando Muslera will once again be trusted with the goalkeeping duties.
Uruguay is in a tough Group A alongside the host Russia, Mo Salah’s Egypt and Saudi Arabia. They are the favorites to top the group and reach the round of 16 only to face either Portugal or Spain. Even with Suarez and Cavani, Portugal or Spain may prove to be a bit too much for them.
The main problem for Uruguay lies on the wings. They lack world-class full-backs and wingers, making the attack over-dependent on Suarez. if Suarez were to get injured, they may not even get past the group stages. Their midfield also lacks experience, making them vulnerable against top dogs like Spain and Germany. Uruguay can always spring a surprise or two but don’t expect them to take the tournament by storm.
23-man final squad
Goalkeepers: Martin Campana (Independiente), Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama).
Defenders: Martin Caceres (Lazio), Sebastian Coates (Sporting CP), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Maximiliano Pereira (Porto), Gaston Silva (Independiente), Guillermo Varela (Penarol).
Midfielders: Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro), Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus), Diego Laxalt (Genoa), Nahitan Nandez (Boca Juniors), Cristian Rodriguez (Penarol), Carlos Sanchez (Monterrey), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Matias Vecino (Inter), Jonathan Urretaviscaya (Monterrey).
Forwards: Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain), Maximiliano Gomez (Celta Vigo), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Cristhian Stuani (Girona).
Luis Suarez, Barcelona
Ever since his move to Barcelona in 2014, Luis Suarez has established himself as the best striker in the world. More importantly, he never seems to remain out of news during the World Cup, be it his infamous handball against Ghana in 2010 or his cold-blooded bite on Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder in 2014.
Suarez may be controversial, but he is world class at the same time. He has had a mixed 17/18 season but Uruguay fans will be hoping that he comes into his own during the tournament and just maybe, give Uruguay its third World Cup title.
Edinson Cavani, PSG
Cavani has been phenomenal for PSG ever since the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He was part of a very successful front three for PSG, joining Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Cavani will join Suarez and form a formidable striking partnership. Just like Suarez, he will also be key for Uruguay’s success.
Diego Godin, Atletico Madrid
Diego Godin is arguably the best defender in the world. He has been the key to Atletico Madrid’s success over the past few seasons.
He will lead a fragile Uruguay defence along with Atletico partner Jose Gimenez. He scored the goal against Italy in 2014, which took Uruguay to knockout stages. He will once again be the key for Uruguay.
Rodrigo Bentancur, Juventus
The 20-year-old Juventus midfielder joined from Boca Juniors last season and made 20 first team appearances. He was solid for Juventus throughout the season and is expected to start for Uruguay. Fans will be hoping that the youngster replicates his Juventus form and comes good on the big stage. He definitely has the potential to do so.
Friday, June 15: vs Egypt, 5:30 PM
Wednesday, June 20: vs Saudi Arabia, 8:30 PM
Monday, June 25: vs Russia , 7:30 PM
Expect them to top the group stage and go down fighting against Spain or Portugal in the round of 16