Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mexico vs Uruguay - Preview


Group A, 14:00 GMT, June 22, 2010
Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa

The two favourites to progress from Group A meet on Tuesday knowing a draw will be enough for both sides to reach the second round. Though a tie is the ideal scenario for both nations, one hopes that there will be no repeat of West Germany's mutually beneficial 1-0 win over Austria at the 1982 finals. With the team that comes second in Group A facing the daunting prospect of Argentina in the second round, there is certainly plenty left for Mexico and Uruguay to play for.

Team Stat Comparison

Matches Played22
Table Position21
Goal Difference23
Goals for *0.03.0
Goals against *0.00.0
Last 5W-DW-D
Last 5 homeD
Last 5 awayW-DW
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Mexico | Uruguay

Competition Stats

GoalsRafael Márquez 1Diego Forlán 2
AssistsRafael Márquez 1
YellowsEfraín Juárez 2Diego Lugano 1
RedsNicolás Lodeiro 1
Squads: Mexico | Uruguay

Uruguay player to watch: Diego Perez. The unsung hero of the Uruguay side, Perez provides a combatative and steely presence in midfield, doing all the ugly work so the more creative players can flourish. Without Perez, the likes of Diego Forlan, Alvaro Pereira and Luis Suarez would not have the ball to work with; he is a vital cog in the thus far efficient Uruguay machine.
Mexico player to watch: Cuauhtemoc Blanco . At 37 years old, legendary striker Blanco is the oldest player to have appeared at the 2010 finals and has taken up the Roger Milla-esque role of veteran super sub. Having been overlooked for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Mexican public were delighted by Javier Aguirre's decision to recall the cult figure to the national team set-up. His goal against France means he has now scored in three finals (1998, 2002 and 2010) and the man who brought us the bunny-hop still has the touch and football brain to cause any team problems.
Key Battle: Guillermo Franco v Diego Lugano. Uruguay have yet to concede at this year's finals, and the presence of defensive colossus and team captain Lugano has been key to their two clean sheets. Imperious in the air and hard in the tackle, Lugano takes no prisoners, which does not bode well for misfiring Mexico striker Guillermo Franco. Having scored in a warm-up game against England, Franco has regressed to the profligate figure West Ham fans were accustomed to watching last season. He does possess good anticipation and seven international goals says that he can score at this level, but he will need something special to escape Lugano's clutches.
Trivia: Seven different players recorded multiple-goal games for Uruguay in its first three trips to the World Cup (1930, 1950, and 1954), including Oscar Miguez, who did it three times. But Diego Forlan was the first Uruguayan player to score twice in a World Cup match since Juan Hohberg scored a brace against Hungary in 1954.
Stats: Mexico striker Javier Hernandez (age 22) and Cauhetemoc Blanco (37) set a record of sorts by scoring against France. Never before had a pair of teammates that far apart in age scored in the same World Cup match.
Odds: Mexico (3.75), Uruguay (4.30), the draw (1.80) are all on offer at Bet365, while Diego Forlan is attractively priced at 6.50 to score the first goal.
Prediction: Though neither side will be keen on facing Argentina, what's more important is that they both progress to the second round. It's a match that seems to scream Latin flair, but in reality will be a tight contest that threatens to end in the draw that both nations need.

Mexico 1-0 will be a good result.

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