The group of veterans hardened in a thousand battles of which Martín Cáceres consists, goddessCoates, Muslera, Cavani and Luis Suárez, that is, those who won the 2011 Copa América in Argentina, team up with the fresh illusion of youth Valverde, Aráujo and a Darwin Núñez who arrives with a goal streak, to further raise the self-esteem of the Uruguayan people, of those fans who breathe and feel football like few others in the world. Real Madrid’s ‘Pajarito’ is already ‘Halcón’ and his moment of form lifts the group up the favorites ladder. The Uruguayan team is of course still frightened by the agonizing qualification for Qatar and that makes it wary of the premiere against South Korea. (follow the match live on As.com).
The tournament’s original champion, in Montevideo in 1930, wants to rediscover its gleaming past. Between the veterans and the youngsters is a group of footballers who made their debut in Russia in 2018: Bentancur, Vecino, Torreira, Varela and Maxi Gómez. So three generations, which together form a very interesting cocktail. The approachable start strongly recommends winning at all costs as Portugal and Ghana set to drive up demand. They will be another song. Beware, the light blues have only won one of their last seven starts in the tournament.
Beware, South Korea is not an expert on sweets. Arrives on the back of Son Heung-Min, equipped with a mask that will protect his damaged eye three weeks ago and that he doubted it until a few days ago. The Tottenham winger is boss of a team that has lost just one of its last nine games (3-0 against Japan) en route to the World Cup. Kang-in, a player from Mallorca, basically starts as a substitute. The challenge is to get closer to that fourth place they achieved in their World Cup shared with the Japanese in 2002. Seven of their nine participations failed to make it through the group stage. Not only that, but they have barely won six of their 34 games in this tournament, with 34 goals for and 70 against. Therefore, the coach Bento, former Portuguese player for Oviedo and coach in his country, Brazil, Greece, China, does not hide that they are much inferior to the Uruguayans and even looks at the enemy with great respect.
Araújo continues to recover from avulsion of the adductor longus tendon of the right thigh on September 24 and to which he underwent surgery four days later, 56 years ago, to participate in the World Cup. Barcelona remain on the warpath and have asked for the central defender’s treatment to be stopped immediately, saying he believes his health is “seriously endangered”. Diego Alonso is unsure whether to put Martín Cáceres, another old fox, or Guillermo Varela on the right. And in one of the midfield squares there is an option for the best ’10’ in the Brazilian championship, De Arrascaeta or De la Cruz, both after a great season with their clubs, Flamengo and River Plate. The Muslera legend will be a substitute in goal, matching him since the arrival of Diego Alonso to Sergio Rochet, with six of his eight caps unbeaten, only Venezuela and Iran beating him, with one goal each.