Promising starts from both the host nation South Africa, and an upstart Uruguayan side have both countries hoping for advancement in a tough Group A. Their matchup on June 16th will commence the second wave of opening round matches, and will be a vital fixture for both squads.
South Africa began their tournament against an impressive Mexico lineup. Despite getting thoroughly outplayed, and severely out-chanced throughout the match, the Bafana Bafana hung on for a 1-1 draw, to the delight of their rabid fans in attendance.
South Africa vs Uruguay Betting Odds:
South Africa (+225)
Over 2 (+107)
Under 2 (-112)
Uruguay meanwhile, turned in an impressive performance against Les Bleus of France. Widely renowned for being a supremely talented soccer nation, France’s game didn’t quite coincide with their reputation. That said, discrediting the Uruguayans would be quite ignorant as they played a safe, but solid game against a highly touted French side. Although they employed a defense-first 5-3-2 formation, expect them to open up against a porous South Africa defensive group.
Keys to the Game:
For South Africa, they must ride the wave of momentum generated from their solid result against Mexico. Their positive start has rallied the nation and produced an abundance of excitement for the Bafana Bafana. If South Africa wants to continue their improbable quest for advancing, they will need their most dynamic player, Steven Pienarr to be at his best. The Everton midfielder was substituted early in their first fixture, and will need to overcome his fatigue to be the player his nation needs him to be. Any success going forward will be facilitated through Pienarr and if he isn’t fit, then their dream run could come to a crashing halt against a dangerous Uruguayan squad.
Uruguay will look to transform their tactics against an inferior opponent in their second World Cup match. Coach Oscar Tabarez is expected to utilize three forwards against the host nation, with Edinson Cavani joining the talented duo of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez. Forlan, who complained following the game against France about a lack of balls being sent in the direction of the forwards, should be more effective against a weak South Africa backline. If the Uruguayan midfield can distribute well for their dangerous group of forwards, Uruguay should be able to be on the attack for the majority of the match.
What to Expect:
Both teams were pleased to ease their way into this year’s World Cup with draws against superior opposition. For their second matches, one point won’t be enough, as both South Africa and Uruguay have their sights set on escaping with three in what will be a tight finish to Group A. With these teams gunning for an outright victory, expect the match to open up drastically in comparison to their opening fixtures. The Uruguayans will display their lethal offense, and an in-form Forlan should be dangerous throughout. The prolific talent will be buoyed by the additional support on the attack, and should give the South African defenders fits throughout the match.
Uruguary vs South Africa Match Prediction: Uruguay 2 – South Africa 1
Also, for an intriguing proposition bet, Diego Forlan to score the first goal is hovering around +475. Great value for the determined Atletico Madrid star, who will be looking to quickly make his mark on the tournament against a suspect backline of South Africa.
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