WITH a record 15 Copa America titles to their name, Uruguay will be looking to defend their crown in Chile but will they miss star man Luis Suarez? Tim Vickery (@Tim_Vickery) and Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) talk you through their chances of success.
- Outright Winner: 14/1 (William Hill)
- Group B Winner: 4/1 (William Hill)
- Top-Two Group B Finish: 4/11 (BetVictor)
- Highest Scoring Team: 18/1 (SkyBet)
- Form Post-World Cup: W5-D2-L0
Tim Vickery’s View
Mark O’Haire’s View
Holders Uruguay head to Chile looking to add to their record haul of 15 Copa America titles – a remarkable achievement for a country that’s population makes up less than 1% of the South American continent. But La Celeste are going to have to overcome the absence of star man Luis Suarez, who remains suspended after his indiscretions at last summer’s World Cup, if they’re to successfully defend their crown.
Despite the loss of the nation’s record goalscorer Suarez, there’s a lot to like about Uruguay. Experienced coach Oscar Tabarez is in his ninth year of a second stint in charge of the national side and that stability can only bolster La Celeste’s claims. Edinson Cavani will shoulder the void left by Suarerz with Tabarez focussed on bringing through the next generation of Uruguayan talent.
The U20 side finished runners-up in the 2013 World Cup and the leading lights of that squad are being blooded with the seniors. Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez will partner his club-mate and skipper Diego Godin in a fearsome centre-half partnership whilst Diego Rolan could prove to be a more than capable foil for Cavani following a decent campaign with Bordeaux.
Regarded back home as Uruguay’s saviour, Tabarez will have a number of systems up his sleeve but we can expect the same stereotypical fight, spirit, unbreakable mentality and doggedness we’ve come accustomed to over the years. Uruguay will opt to play on the break but they will lose a certain degree of inventiveness from Suarez and so do La Celeste boast enough craft and guile to unlock stubborn defences? It’s an issue that requires addressing.
Seven friendlies have yielded zero defeats for the new breed and the smooth rebuilding process is on track. However, the road to the Santiago final is paved with heavy artillery. Should, as expected, Uruguay take second spot in Group B they’ll be taking on Colombia or Brazil in the last eight before another possible tussle with group rivals Argentina in the semi-finals.
If Tabarez’s troops are to celebrate a 16th Copa title, the 14/1 (William Hill) shots will probably need to finish top of the tree in Group B.
The View From The Inside
“Captain Diego Godin once stated that they feel like more like a bunch of friends than a football team and that team bond might be key to their chances. Uruguay have renewed their squad and many interesting young players are claiming their place in the first team but the country’s hopes will be placed on Edinson Cavani’s fierce goal power with Luis Saurez absent.
It’s practically impossible to win the Copa America without defeating Brazil or Argentina. Uruguay will probably have to take on both of them if they are going for the gold but the aim is to reach, at least, the semi-finals.”
– Felipe Miguel (@PipeMiguel)
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Uruguay Form & Stats
|Last 10 Competitive Games||W6-D1-L3||Last 20 Competitive Games||W9-D3-L8|
|0-0 Draw||1/10||0-0 Draw||1/20|
|Over 1.5 Goals||7/10||Over 1.5 Goals||16/20|
|Over 2.5 Goals||5/10||Over 2.5 Goals||12/20|
|Over 3.5 Goals||3/10||Over 3.5 Goals||6/20|
|Over 4.5 Goals||2/10||Over 4.5 Goals||4/20|
|Both Teams To Score||4/10||Both Teams To Score||10/20|
|Fail To Score||3/10||Fail To Score||5/20|
|Clean Sheet||4/10||Clean Sheet||6/20|
|HT Draw||4/10||HT Draw||7/20|
|Over 1.5 Team Goals||5/10||Over 1.5 Team Goals||8/20|
|Win + Both Teams To Score||3/10||Win + Both Teams To Score||4/20|
*All stats and form correct until 30 May 2015*