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Italy vs. Uruguay - World Cup 2014 Preview


Italy vs. Uruguay
Match Date: 24 June 2014 (local time)
Match Venue: Arena das Dunas (Natal, Rio Grande do Norte)


Cesare Prandelli’s side were really poor against Costa Rica, lacking vigour and creativity throughout the pitch. Marco Verratti was left out against Costa Rica but the industrious Paris St Germain midfielder should be drafted in to solidify an anaemic looking middle of the park. Daniele De Rossi will be unlikely to play due to a leg injury. Mario Balotelli has cut an increasingly isolated figure during the tournament, perhaps nullified by a slightly sub-par Andrea Pirlo. Barzagli and Chiellini were exposed for pace by Joel Campbell, a sight that will have left the prodigious Luis Suarez salivating. Prandelli will probably switch to a more traditional 3-5-2 formation for this game, which will aim to shackle the aspirations of Luis Suarez. Immobile may be used to try and give some assistance to l’enfant terrible Mario Balotelli. He may not be one to share his toys, but Balotelli’s ability to integrate more holistically with his teammates will be a major factor in Italy’s possible progression. Pirlo will need to get on the ball far more than he did against Costa Rica. Despite their shortfalls, It’s tough to bet against the Italians in major competitions.


England were on the receiving end of the return of the king, as Luis Suarez demonstrated his uncanny ability to create magic out of virtually nothing. He was generally anonymous in the game, except in those two crucial moments where he managed to punish a forlorn English outfit. Lodeiro and Gonzalez bolstered the midfield dramatically, with Forlan looking slightly disconnected from the pace in the first game against Costa Rica. Maximiliano Pereira returns to the side following a suspension, while Muslera will look to continue his good form between the sticks. Uruguay will know that a draw will not be sufficient in this encounter and will be looking to expose the occasionally lethargic Italian central defenders. The general atmosphere of the tournament would tend to favour a South American success, yet I wouldn’t underestimate this Italian side. Diego Lugano, Uruguayan captain, will not play due to injury, which could destabilise the side somewhat. Italy have a knack of winning these kinds of fixtures and will relish this clash of tournament heavyweights.

World Cup 2014 Betting tips: Uruguay

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