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July 24, 2011 3:00 PM EDT
Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti — Capital Federal, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Referee:‬ Salvio Spinola Fagundes Filho‎
12′ Luis Suárez

Copa America final preview: Uruguay - Paraguay

Oscar Tabarez's men are bidding to win the Copa America for a record 15th time when they take on the winless Guarani in the showpiece final at El Monumental on Sunday.

By Mohammed Ali

Uruguay:  Muslera; M. Pereira, Lugano, Victorino, Caceres, A. Pereira; Gonzalez, Perez, Rios; Forlan, Suarez.

La Celeste are set to welcome back Diego Perez into the lineup for the final in Buenos Aires on Sunday evening. The Bologna midfielder, who scored against Argentina in the quarterfinal, missed the win over Peru due to suspension. Oscar Tabarez will also call upon Mauricio Victorino from injury after he sat out the semifinal. Controversy has surrounded the potential recall of Edinson Cavani for the showpiece, with the Napoli hitman struggling to recover from a knee injury suffered in the group stage. This has not gone down well with his club president Aurelio De Laurentiis who stated that he is prepared to take serious action if Uruguay play the unfit striker.

Paraguay: Villar; Da Silva, Veron, Torres, Vera; Barreto, Caceres, Riveros, Estigarribia; Barrios, Valdez

Paraguay has been hit with disciplinary issues ahead of the showdown with Uruguay. Coach Gerardo Martino and assistant Jorge Pautasso have both been given touchline bans and will watch from the stands in Buenos Aires. No player has been individually punished following the mass brawl that ensued after the penalty shootout win over Venezuela in the semifinal. However, Jonathan Santana will miss the final after his red card during the game. Another worry for the Guarani surrounds Roque Santa Cruz who came on, and then went off within minutes, clutching his right hamstring. Otherwise, Paraguay will revert to their strongest possible lineup having introduced four changes in their last game.

  • Uruguay, 14-time winners of the Copa America/South American Championship along with Argentina, is seeking to win the tournament for a record 15th time on Sunday.
  • The 2011 final is La Celeste's 21st final appearance, the last time they negotiated their way to this stage was in 1999 when they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Brazil.
  • Oscar Tabarez's men secured their passage to Monumental by overcoming surprise packages Peru 2-0 in their semifinal. They had dumped out hosts Argentina on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the quarter-final.
  • Luis Suarez is currently the tournament's joint-top scorer with three goals, along with Argentina's Sergio Aguero. The Liverpool striker could become the first Uruguayan, joint or outright, to become top scorer of the Copa since Carlos Aguilera was named joint-top scorer of the 1983 edition.
  • Uruguay, now the overwhelming favorites, prevailed the last time the two nations met. Diego Forlan and Diego Lugano's goals secured a 2-0 win back in 2009 in a World Cup qualifier.
  • Paraguay is yet to win a game in the 2011 Copa America after recording five successive draws, two of which have been settled on penalties.
  • Nevertheless, the Guarani have secured a passage to the final, something they haven't achieved for 32 years.
  • Gerardo Martino's men have astonishingly only led for a grand total of 52 minutes in the tournament, out of the 510 minutes of football they have endured.
  • 'La Albirroja' are bidding for their third Copa America, having won the 1953 and 1979 editions.
  • Despite a pragmatic defensive approach to the game, this has been Paraguay's best performance at the Copa America since its previous win, bettering their fourth place finish in 1989.
  • Captain Justo Villar and defender Paulo Da Silva will win their 95th cap for their nation in the final.
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Néstor Muslera MicolGoalkeeper
22Martín CáceresDefender
2Diego LuganoDefender
4Sebastián CoatesDefender
16Maxi PereiraDefender
6Á. PereiraMidfielder
17E. ArévaloMidfielder
15Diego PérezMidfielder
20Alvaro GonzalezMidfielder
10Diego ForlánStriker
9Luis SuárezStriker
23M. SilvaGoalkeeper
12J. CastilloGoalkeeper
3Diego GodínDefender
19A. ScottiDefender
14N. LodeiroMidfielder
-S. Eguren
5Walter GarganoMidfielder
7Cristian RodríguezMidfielder
7Edinson CavaniStriker
11Abel HernándezStriker
-Sebastián Abreu
Probable Lineups
Néstor Muslera Micol 1
Martín Cáceres 22
Diego Lugano 2
Sebastián Coates 4
Maxi Pereira 16
Á. Pereira 6
E. Arévalo 17
Diego Pérez 15
Alvaro Gonzalez 20
Diego Forlán 10
Luis Suárez 9
J. Villar 0
Víctor Cáceres 0
Darabantex 0
D. Verón 0
Iván Rodrigo Piris 0
Néstor Ezequiel Ortigoza 0
Elvis Israel Marecos 0
Enrique Daniel Vera 0
C. Riveros 16
P. Zeballos 0
Haedo Valdéz 18
Times In EDT
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Paolo Guerrero Paolo Guerrero
5 0
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
4 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Man City
3 0
Radamel Falcao Radamel Falcao
AS Monaco
2 1
Diego Forlán Diego Forlán
2 0