We’ve compiled this Uruguay Preview: World Cup 2018 to provide all of the details you need about La Celeste — everything from the likely starting lineup, 23-man squad, schedule of games and analysis regarding their chances, and more.
Uruguay Preview: World Cup 2018
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera, Martin Silva, Martin Campana.
Defenders: Diego Godin, Sebastian Coates, Jose Maria Gimenez, Maximiliano Pereira, Gaston Silva, Martin Caceres, Guillermo Varela
Midfielders: Nahitan Nandez, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Carlos Sanchez, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Cristian Rodriguez, Gaston Ramirez
Forwards: Cristhian Stuani, Maximiliano Gomez, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez
- Manager: Oscar Tabarez
- Captain: Diego Godin
- Best Finish: Winners (1930, 1950)
Likely starting lineup
Despite possessing two of the finest centre-forwards in world football, watching Uruguay at tournaments in recent years hasn’t always been easy on the eye.
Oscar Tabarez’s teams have embodied the Garra Charrua quality that’s synonymous with this nation. A bit of edge, a bit of nastiness and a lot of fight. They defend well, pack the midfield with energetic players and hope either Luis Suarez or Edinson Cavani can conjure something. They often do.
There’s been some deviation from that formula since the previous World Cup. Uruguay were eventually eliminated by a vibrant Columbia side in the second round. Tabarez still puts an onus on defense. The two star strikers remain but their midfield may be a little more aesthetic this time around.
Players like Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus and Federico Valverde from Real Madrid should add more guile. These two will battle for a spot alongside Inter Milan man Matias Vecino, the midfield anchor, and Nahitan Nandez, on the right flank.
Often sides moving away from such a strict blueprint can be exposed. There’s a temptation to revert back to what they know best, especially in a major tournament. But only a record-breaking Brazil were ahead of La Celeste in CONMEBOL qualifying. Something is going well.
In both boxes Uruguay are as good as any side in the tournament too. Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez are indomitable at the back for Atletico Madrid, and there’s a blend of attributes in the front two that’ll given any defense in the tournament a fright.
If it all comes together, they’re the clear favorites to win Group A. This makes them the least attractive opponent for anyone in a one-off encounter.
Key Man – Diego Godin
At 32, this is likely to be the last World Cup of Godin’s distinguished international career, in which he’s represented Uruguay on 116 occasions prior to the competition.
While he may have faded a little in recent years, the centre-back remains one of the best masters of his craft anywhere in world football. Godin is a force of nature in defence, never bullied in a battle and rarely bettered in the air.
Alongside Gimenez he is the glue that holds this Uruguay setup together and for the first time will lead Uruguay into a World Cup as skipper. He does not wear the armband at club level with Atletico but he’s long been a general on the field for Diego Simeone’s team and was a giant in Madrid’s glorious Europa League run.
In the main, there aren’t too many forwards in Group A that have the tools to give Godin and his defensive team-mates many problems in the opening matches. Should Uruguay get out of the group stages, that’s where the intelligence and experience of Godin can really count for Tabarez’s men.
Uruguay’s Group Stage games
Friday, June 15
Wednesday, June 20
Monday, June 25
Uruguay’s path to the final
If Uruguay wins Group A, their Round of 16 game will be against the country that finishes second from Group B which will either be Spain, Morocco, Iran or Portugal. If Uruguay wins that Round of 16 game, La Celeste will enter the quarterfinal stage with a game against either the winner of Group C (either France, Australia, Peru, Denmark) or the team that finishes second in Group C (Argentina, Iceland, Nigeria or Croatia). If Uruguay advances to the semi-final stage, it’ll play the winner of the quarterfinal that pitted the winner of E1 vs. F2 against the winner of G1 vs. H2.
If Uruguay finishes second in Group A, Uruguay will play the team that finishes first in Group B (either Spain, Morocco, Iran or Portugal). If Uruguay wins that game, it would be in the quarterfinal against whoever is victorious between the winner of Group D (either Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria or Iceland) and the team that finishes second in Group C (either France, Australia, Peru or Denmark). If Uruguay advances to the semi-final stage, it’ll play the winner of the quarterfinal that pitted the winner of F1 vs. E2 against the winner of H1 vs. G2.
Uruguay World Cup shirt (home)
The traditional sky blue home jersey has accent color black for the collar and logos. A unique front graphic shows the Sol de Atlantida, a famous Uruguayan monument. The image also reminds fans of the Sun of May from the national flag. “Uruguay” is printed on the upper back. 100% Polyester.
Uruguay World Cup shirt (away)
The away jersey is white with accent color sky blue on the collar and logos. Faint sublimated stripes made up of microdots are on the front panel. Embroidered team and PUMA logos. “La Celeste” is printed inside the collar. Stripes from the flag of Uruguay are on the upper back.
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