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Copa America

  • July 13, 2011
  • • 01:45
  • • Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, Provincia de Buenos Aires
  • Referee: R. Orozco

Copa America preview: Uruguay - Mexico

Copa America preview: Uruguay - Mexico

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The strugglers in Group C face off in a contest that promises much, as a win for either side will significantly boost their respective hopes of progression into the last eight


Uruguay: Muslera; Alvaro Pereira, Lugano, Coates, Maxi Pereira; Rodriguez, Perez, Arevalo, Gonzalez; Forlan, Suarez

Oscar Tabarez is under intense pressure to progress onto the last eight of the tournament, and his cause isn't helped by being forced to make various changes to his side. The ex-AC Milan tactician will deploy a 4-4-2 system for this match, as Porto's Alvaro Pereira drops into defence from his usual midfield position, replacing Martin Caceres, who has already picked up two yellow cards. Furthermore, Edinson Cavani's sprained knee means he is unavailable, leaving Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez to lead the line in a forward pairing. Cristian Rodriguez and Alvaro Gonzalez also come into the fold, taking up the wing positions in midfield.

Mexico: Michel; Aguilar, Araujo, Reynoso, Mier; Chavez, Aquino; Reyes, Enríquez, Giovani; Lugo

The Mexicans have endured a hugely disappointing campaign thus far, with two losses to Peru and Chile. Their poor performance can be attributed to the Concacaf ruling, which does not allow the side to field a full-strength team, alluded to by coach Jose de la Torre in their pre-match press conference. However, he must work with what he has at his disposal to their full potential, and another unchanged lineup in the offing means that he has complete faith in his players to dig out the all-important victory, which will give them a slight chance of third-place qualification.


  • Uruguay are currently in third spotin Group C, on two points following draws with Peru and Mexico.
  • They will clinch automatic qualification to the quarter-finals if they beat Mexico, and either Chile or Peru suffer defeat.
  • The 14-time Copa champions can also potentially progress by drawing the match and then hope Brazil or Paraguay lose their upcoming Grou B meeting.
  • The last time Uruguay failed to qualify from the group stages of the Copa America was in 1997, six editions ago.
  • Uruguay have never beaten Mexico in the Copa America, losing all three matches, although their last competitive meeting was in their favour during the World Cup 2010 group stage.
  • Mexico are currently bottom of Group C, with no points to their name after losses to Chile and Peru.
  • They must beat Uruguay if they are to have any possibility of progressing to the last eight of the tournament.
  • Anything other than a win will consign them to failure and remain rooted to the bottom.
  • In addition, it will be the first time since their original invitation to the tournament in 1993 that they will not have progressed from the group stage.
  • Mexico have the upper edge against Uruguay in their head-to-head, winning three of their six previous meetings; one more victory than their opponents.
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Players to watch

L. Suárez

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The Liverpool forward has looked very sharp so far for the Uruguayans, and registered a well-taken goal in their opener against Peru. By far and away their most explosive and potent option in attack, he will look to unleash his weaponry against the youthful Mexican defence that will be extremely wary of the 24-year-old, whose movement and finishing ability is sure to cause a problem or two for Jose de la Torre's side.

G. dos Santos

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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An obvious choice it must be said, the Tottenham man is the most experienced player in their ranks, and easily their talisman for this summer's tournament. The likes of Diego Reyes and Jorge Enriquez will look to their counterpart for inspiration and guidance at times, as his goals and creativity will be required if they are to have any chance of making it to the last eight. Dos Santos has had little service to feed off so far, even speaking out in the press about the questionable tactics deployed by de la Torre, but now is the time for him and the rest of his side to step up to the plate.

Editor's Prediction

Despite altering their tactical approach and changing some of their personnel around, Uruguay still boast an impressive side, and it will be fascinating to see how their flying wingers, Rodriguez and Gonzalez will perform as attacking outlets, whilst also feeding their prolific frontline, even without the presence of Cavani. Mexico have shown promise but have failed to find a ruthless streak in their play, and it is Uruguay's industry and experience throughout the side that should send them through to the quarter-finals.

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