Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Friday, May 30, 2014

World Cup Preview - Group D - Uruguay

Nickname: "La Celeste (Sky Blues)"

Absurd FIFA ranking - 6th

Coach: Veteran gaffer Oscar Tabarez

Game Schedule:
June 14 – Uruguay v. Costa Rica (Fortaleza, 3:00 p.m. EST, ABC)
June 19 – Uruguay v. England (Sao Paulo, 3:00 p.m., ESPN)
June 24 – Uruguay vs. Italy (Natal, 12:00 p.m., ESPN)

Prospects: After their spectacular win in the 2011 Copa America, Uruguay underperformed in the Brasil '14 qualifiers, almost missing out entirely with a fifth place finish, which meant having to play-off against Jordan. As with many of the established sides in this World Cup, Uruguay have an aging first team (the average age is on the wrong side of 30). Their creaky defense put a lot of pressure on the front three to score more than opponents. This tactic might have worked against the likes of Peru but not against stingier European defenses.

Key Player: Uruguay's fortunes this summer rise and fall on the fitness of Liverpool's Luis Suarez, who injured himself in training two weeks ago and went under the knife. He's scheduled to return for the match against England but we've seen how that goes before, haven't we?

Youngster to watch: Southampton's 23 year-old midfielder Gaston Ramirez had a terrific Premiership season and deserves a call-up to the first team.

Who Will Get the Goals: Without Suarez, La Celeste will rely heavily on PSG striker Edinson Cavani's goals and may even press 35 year-old Diego Forlan (now in exile in Japan) back into service.

Who Will Get the Cards: The Uruguay back-line is full of rugged veterans; my pick is 33 year-old skipper Diego Lugano, who's fond of the tug-back.

Prediction: Just edged out by England is the last round of group games. England will play Costa Rica and Uruguay will face Italy.

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