Mexico have been one of the surprise packages at South Africa 2010. With flair, style and skill they’ve taken to their matches playing some of the best soccer seen so far at the tournament. Their opponents Uruguay were tipped by many to be the dark horses of South Africa 2010 and they’ve lived up to those expectations, led brilliantly by Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan who has two goals to his name so far.
Playing in the opening game of the tournament put the pressure on Mexico from day one. While they handled the pressure admirably against South Africa, they had some nervous moments and were happy to come away from their encounter with Bafana Bafana clinging on to a draw. It was a different story in their second game against France when they played the European heavyweights off the field with their slick attacking approach play.
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Mexico vs Uruguay Odds:
Giovanni Dos Santos has been the standout player for Mexico; the quick-footed left-sided player has created chance after chance for the Mexico strikers. Ahead of Dos Santos, Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez made the difference against France, breaking the offside trap with ease before finishing calmly. The youthful Hernandez will be hoping to get the call up into the starting line up after his assured performance from the bench against Les Bleus.
Experienced forward Cuauhtémoc Blanco has helped inspire his younger teammates with his experience and composure and although the veteran striker looks short on fitness, he’s shown in his team’s first two games in South Africa that his brain is still quicker than most players on the field. Mexico Coach Javier Aguirre will likely keep the same attacking playing style his team showcased in their victory over France, and his team should get plenty of goal-scoring chances against a relatively untested Uruguay defence.
Every piece of attacking play so far from Uruguay has emanated from the talented boots of striker Diego Forlan. The Atletico Madrid man has undoubtedly been Uruguay’s player of the tournament up to this point. Forlan’s strike partner, Luis Suarez has been poor so far but his club form with Ajax suggests that he is still capable of scoring goals given the opportunity. Left-sided defender Jorge Fucile is the Uruguay set piece specialist. With most players struggling to control the flight of the new lighter World Cup ball, Fucile’s delivery from wide positions and on set pieces has been impressive.
In each of Uruguay’s group games they have been able to control possession and keep the ball moving around the field with ease, the key to this style of play is central midfielder Diego Perez. Using his superb positional sense, Perez is the orchestrator at the heart of the Uruguayan midfield, where he begins most of the Uruguayan attacking plays. Due to their fluid style of play and the confidence taken from their crushing win over South Africa, Oscar Tabarez’s Uruguay are set add their name to the list of South American teams most will want to avoid going into the later rounds of South Africa 2010.
A draw in this game would be enough for both Mexico and Uruguay to qualify from Group A. But because Uruguay have the better goal difference and would finish top in the event of a draw, Mexico have the motivation of preventing a possible meeting with a rampaging Argentina side in the first knockout stage to spur them on to victory against Uruguay in their final group game. But with Diego Forlan in the form of his life it will be extremely difficult for Mexico to come away with a win, despite their solid performances in the competition up to this point.
Mexico vs Uruguay Prediction: Mexico 2-2 Uruguay.
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