Being pit against the reigning European and world champion is not something that a team needs in the opening game, even in a competition such as the Confederations Cup. There are no high stakes in this tournament and both players and coaches try to do their best while testing various players on different positions. Fortunately for Spain, their reserves bench is deep enough to make any combination a winning one, but Uruguay can be proud of how they performed in the opening game.
The South Americans went down by 2-1 and Suarez was once again the one who delivered the goal, which explains why he will feature upfront from the first minute. If we are to consider what happened in the first round, his most likely partner would be Cavani who is younger and has an excellent season with Napoli. Another option for Tabarez is to send in Forlan, as the veteran player has a lot of experience in decisive games.
Although advancing to the next stage of the competition won’t translate into financial rewards and the trophy won’t cause many headlines around the world, being eliminated in the group stage is not something that Uruguay needs ahead of the World Cup. We shouldn’t be surprised to see three strikers on the field at the same time, because if Nigeria takes an early lead or if the game drags and Uruguay fails to score, Forlan, Cavani and Suarez could be all playing side-by-side.
Nigeria took full advantage of the fact that they met Tahiti in the first game and scored six goals, en route to a crushing victory. Their opponents didn’t pose any threats whatsoever and did their best to defend, but the difference in class and experience was simply too much. Against Uruguay, they will have a much difficult task, as their opponents will not settle for a draw but try to force them into their own half.
Away from home both teams have mediocre results, but in this tournament one can’t factor in such elements as form supersedes past performance. Punters are entitled to expect a high scoring game, because Uruguay is compelled to win the match while their opponents have already proven their offensive prowess. Add to this the fact that five of the six games scored by Nigeria came from midfielders, and you’ve got an accurate picture about exactly how dangerous the African team is upfront.