Uruguay Team - 2014 World Cup Betting
Best Finish: Won in 1930 and 1950
Manager: Diego Lugano
Captain: Oscar Tabarez
Key Player: Luis Suárez (Liverpool)
Group D: With Costa Rica, England and Italy
After failing to qualify for the World Cup in 2006, Uruguay stormed back in 2010 and grabbed a surprising fourth-place finish. Defense was the name of the game in South Africa. This time around, it'll be all about the offense.
Uruguay figures to lean heavily on their striker talent at the 2014 World Cup, beginning with Luis Suárez. The Liverpool man dominated CONMEBOL qualifiers after scoring more goals than anybody else with 11. Suárez's attributes include marvelous dribbling, composure in front of the net, and the versatility to play anywhere on the front line. That said, it's no wonder why he's Uruguay's all-time leading goal scorer.
Edinson Cavani is a perfect compliment to his star teammate because he's an excellent finisher and keeps teams from focusing on Suárez. Cavani scored six goals for Uruguay in CONMEBOL qualifiers with his aggressive style. Diego Forlán rounds out this attack, and he found the net twice in qualifiers. After an incredible career, the 34-year-old is likely playing in his last Cup and will look to give this last one everything he's got.
The entire Uruguay front line will have to give it their all because the defense certainly isn't at the same quality as it was during the aforementioned 2010 Cup run. This was more than clear during qualifying matches, as the team matched their 25 goals scored with 25 surrendered for a 0 differential. The lack of defense relegated Uruguay to an above-average 7-4-5 (W-D-L) record, which tied Ecuador for CONMEBOL's fourth and final automatic qualifying spot.
However, Ecuador had the better goal differential at +4, which sent Uruguay to a two-legged playoff against Jordan. Lucky for them, the result was never in doubt as "Le Celeste" cruised to an easy 5-0 aggregate victory. But the 25 goals allowed in qualifying rounds does show the one area where Uruguay needs to improve if they're to get out of a tough Group D, which includes powerhouses in England and Italy.