Can toothless Uruguayans still stifle Colombian flair?
To be fair to Luis Suarez, we’re guessing that there isn’t a lot of column inches in the football rulebook devoted to the use, or abuse, of teeth. Maybe he simply misunderstood when a team-mate said the Italians looked a bit tasty!
The Uruguayan FA rather farcically persist with their position that there is no real evidence of wrongdoing and their lawyer claims it’s a plot by the Europeans, led by England and Italy, to deprive the World Cup of one its best players.
But the problem is that Suarez’ infamous overbite has history which is precisely the reason FIFA have been fully justified in their meting out of a 9-match international and four month football ban, thus excluding him from “all football related activities”.
The Chiellini incident also massive implications for Liverpool as the striker would have been pivotal to next season’s Champions League challenge. He now misses their first 13 matches of the season, having already been a marked man with Premier League fans as his goals effectively ended England’s challenge in Brazil and TV cameras will be on his every movement from now on.
But back to the football and Uruguay’s chances against Colombia. Without Suarez, it’s not unkind to say that Oscar Tabarez’ team are a rather mediocre outfit.
They can be over-physical at times and it apparently doesn’t take much to light the pale blue touch-paper.
They’ve already had Maxi Pereira red-carded in the tournament and it was typically ironic that Diego Godin, who should have walked after throwing an elbow into the throat of Daniel Sturridge, was available to score the goal that put his team through to the last 16.
For the sake of the tournament, it might be best all round if Colombia ended the Uruguayan challenge in the Maracana.
Jose Pekerman’s team have averaged three goals a game so far and confidence must be sky-high. Monaco’s James Rodriguez looks a real star in the making and Juan Cadrado has also impressed.
But football is a strange game and Uruguay have had much the better of recent meetings between the countries. They’ve won six of the last eight encounters and only lost once, at altitude in 2012.
Uruguay may well have developed a siege mentality and are 27/10 to win in 90 minutes and 4/1 to win by exactly one goal.
The match kicks off at 9pm UK time on Saturday June 28th at the Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro.