After Uruguay’s 3-1 loss against Costa Rica and England’s 2-1 loss against Italy, this game has become a must win for both teams, a draw or especially a loss here could prove to be disastrous. England have come into this World Cup with a breath of fresh air, starting exciting young talents like Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson, and Daniel Sturridge.
There is definitely a massive Liverpool influence in the team, and you could see why Roy Hodgson chose the starting XI against Italy, despite the loss. England is now full of pace, energy, youth, and experience, and are determined to make it far in this World Cup. Let’s take a look at what Uruguay need to do to stop them:
Attack the Wing Backs
England are a relatively defensively sound team and tend to concede very few goals, but they are not without their weaknesses. Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines are fantastic world class wing backs, but they are prone to the occasional defensive error. They are trained as modern day wing backs who bomb forward and provide extra artillery to the team’s attack, hence leaving their two central defenders vulnerable on the counter attack.
It’s going to be up to Uruguay’s two wingers, Cristian Rodriguez and Christian Stuani to exploit this weakness and put these two wing backs under pressure. These two wingers have the pace and attacking prowess to give England some trouble, and Tabarez will need to address this and make sure they take advantage.
Take Advantage of Set Pieces
One of Uruguay’s strengths is in set pieces, and we did not see enough of that on Saturday against Costa Rica. When you have players like Forlan and Suarez who have such wonderful set piece delivery, it’s going to cause them some serious trouble no matter how good England’s organization will be.
Players like Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin are superb in the air and have fantastic heading ability. The combination of an accurate delivery and deadly finishers is a match made in heaven, and Uruguay will need to be smart enough to capitalize on this strength if they want to secure the three points.
Address Their Defensive Weaknesses
By now, we all know what Uruguay’s Achilles’ Heel is, lack of pace in defense. The one defender that could provide some pace for them, Maxi Pereira, will miss the game due to a red card. If England unleash both Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, it’s difficult to see Uruguay winning this game.
As strong as Uruguay’s attack is, when you’re coming up against world class teams like England, you cannot rely on only offense, you need to be organized and secure all throughout the spine of your team. Despite the leadership of Diego Lugano, Tabarez might want to rest him for this match and bring in a younger defender like Sebastian Coates who has experience playing with his Liverpool teammates on England.
Either way, Tabarez will need to change the defensive strategy for this game because it clearly did not work against Costa Rica. Uruguay will be facing a much stronger team on Wednesday, so something will need to change if Uruguay want to come out with a positive result.
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