After Saturday’s 2-0 win over Ecuador in World Cup 2010 qualifying, Colombia now face what should be considered an even bigger task in and against Uruguay.
Confidence won’t be an issue for Colombia following Saturday’s result, although the players will have to remember that it did take them until minute 81 to break the deadlock after a mostly uneventful match. In Uruguay, Colombia won’t have the luxury to sit back and relax even though their opponents are in a lot of trouble themselves.
Uruguay lost to Peru on Saturday and as result dropped to position seven, two behinds behind Ecuador. The two-times world champions will certainly need a win if they want to keep a decent chance of making it to next year’s finals.
The Uruguayans had a good start to their qualifying campaign but only earned five points from their last five games. In their last home game, they even suffered a painful 0-4 defeat by Brazil.
Colombia have won their last two qualifiers and appear to be in better shape than Wednesday’s opponents. Uruguay do have the home advantage however, something that often proves to be vital in South American soccer.
One thing that certainly isn’t in Colombia’s favor is history. Of the last five encounters with Uruguay, the Colombians lost four. The remaining match ended undecided. Colombia last beat Uruguay in World Cup qualifying in 2004.
The most important question ahead of this game is whether manager Eduardo Lara opts to field Teofilo Gutierrez from the start, or whether he will give young Jackson Martinez a start. What does seem certain is that Radamel Falcao will be starting on the bench.
Agustin Julio should once again be in goal, and the defense won’t show any changes either with Ivan Ramiro Cordoba, Mario Alberto Yepes, Pablo Armero and Amaranto Perea.
There will likely be a change in midfield. Abel Aguilar, John Viafara, Freddy Guarin and Giovanni Moreno will likely remain in the starting line-up, but Falcao may well be replaced with newcomer Adriano Ramos.
The match will be played at Montevideo’s Centenario stadium at 4pm Colombian time.