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2022 FIFA World Cup

Uruguay predicted lineup for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Published at :November 17, 2022 at 8:52 PM
Modified at :November 17, 2022 at 8:52 PM
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Sathvik Bharadwaj

The two-time champions have all the right ingredients to spring a surprise in Qatar.

Nostalgia is a powerful provocatory of emotions in football. ‘Volveremos’ is a chant inspired by Uruguay’s 1930 World Cup victory. For those unfamiliar with the significance of that triumph, the 1930 World Cup was the first-ever World Cup and was held in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo. Uruguay beat their rivals Argentina 4-2 in the finals, sending a nation spiralling into widespread celebrations. 20 years later, Uruguay clinched their second World Cup, beating hosts Brazil in the Maracana.

‘La Celeste’ have been thirsting for the top price for the past 72 years. ‘Volveremos’ can be roughly translated to ‘We will be back.’ Oscar Tabarez is no more in charge of the national team after being at the helm for 15 years, vacating his position to Diego Alonso. Alonso led Uruguay to a top-three CONEMBOL Qualifying finish but is very inexperienced at the international level. He takes charge of a squad filled with a generation of global superstars and some veterans in the final stages of their careers.

Uruguay are placed in Group H, by far the tightest of the lot. They rekindle an old rivalry with Ghana, must cope with the Korean Republic and will look to tame Portugal once again. Uruguay upset Portugal 2-1 in the 2018 World Cup Round of 16. So, is it time for a dark horse to rise? Let us take a closer look at Uruguay’s predicted 4-3-1-2 line-up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Goalkeeper- Fernando Muslera

The Galatasaray captain had made 352 appearances for the Turkish club since signing for them in 2011. He has played every minute in goal for 2010, 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups and will hopefully extend that run to 2022 as well. The six-foot-three custodian has earnt 133 caps in National colours and is known for his safe handling and acrobatic saves. He should be able to stave off competition from Sergio Rochet and Sebastian Sosa.

Left-back – Matias Vina

The 25-year-old is a squad player for Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma and often plays as a left centre-back in a 3-5-2. He faces stiff competition from Napoli’s Mathias Olivera, who started the previous two friendlies. Vina has more caps and should make a stronger case thanks to his versatility. Uruguay should consider a back three to negate their opponents’ pace and looking at their group-stage opponents, this should be the go-to strategy. Once Araujo regains fitness, Vina could make way for the Barcelona defender. But for now, he starts in a back four.

Centre-back – Jose Maria Gimenez

Atletico Madrid’s stalwart has racked up 184 appearances for the Spanish club. He has a telepathic understanding with Diego Godin and is very good in the air. Gimenez will be a key part of a back-line that will be hard to breach for any team.

Centre-back – Diego Godin

A fierce competitor aged 36, Godin is at the twilight of his career and will wish to bow out with glory. The captain is an old-school centre-back with expert positioning, Godin can orchestrate the back-line and still poses a set-piece threat. Despite his age, he can still carry the ball out and make accurate passes forward, an important asset to have for a centre-back.  

Right-back – Guillermo Varela

The hard-working full-back currently plays for Flamengo on loan from Dynamo Moscow. He has nine national team appearances and has been Alonso’s go-to player down the right. He tracks back well and adds a dynamic presence to the Uruguay defence. Once he gets too good crossing positions, Varela has the nous to pick the right passes into the area.

Left midfielder – Lucas Torreira

The former Arsenal midfielder will have to play slightly out of position to accommodate the creative players. His primary role will be to serve as a wing-back at times, but Torreira can play as an out-and-out midfielder. He could be used in a very shrewd way to lethal effect. His direct competitor is Mattia Vecino.

Central midfielder – Rodrigo Bentancur

Bentancur’s transformation from a box-to-box midfielder to a creative outlet has been evident in his recent run of goals for Tottenham Hotspur. He plays a deeper role for the national team and takes control of winning possession and keeps play ticking with passes. Along with Federico Valverde, Bentancur forms a mouth-watering central midfield partnership with 95 caps between them, and it will be interesting to see how they operate.

Centre midfielder – Federico Valverde

Real Madrid’s unsung hero has finally started to grab eyeballs with his all-round performances. He is a versatile part of Uruguay’s latest supply chain of talent and has already risen to the top, starring in Real Madrid’s 2021-22 Champions League win. Although capable of playing more comprehensively or in the forward line, Valverde will be tasked with pulling the strings. He will be aware of his added defensive responsibilities and will often be required to fill in for players out of position, but Valverde is a generational talent who can live up to this responsibility.

Uruguay predicted lineup for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Uruguay predicted lineup for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Central Attacking Midfielder – Giorgian de Arrascaeta

The Flamengo wide-man helped his team to 11 trophies. Capable of playing centrally and out wide as an inverted winger, the 28-year-old is a direct dribbler and has the vision to serve as a playmaker too. His vision and creativity stand out, and Arrascaeta is one of those gifted talents yet to play at a platform he is ready for. He keeps Nico de la Cruz out of the starting XI.

Striker – Darwin Nunez

For a nation with no shortage of strikers, Darwin Nunez is the latest superstar to fuel the hope of goals for Uruguay. After a tepid start to life as a Liverpool player following an 85 Million Pound switch from Benfica, Nunez has racked up seven goal contributions from 10 matches in the league and forms a deadly strike combination with Luis Suarez or Edinson Cavani.

Striker – Luis Suarez

Never write ‘El Pistolero’ off. The chief architect of Uruguay’s dark arts may not be in his prime but is still a fierce competitor who thrives on any kind of service. Also, he has been among the goals for Nacional in the country’s Primera Division. He can be used in short but effective bursts, with Cavani ready to make an impact on the bench.