That we are similar, that they have good defense and dangerous passing game, that they don’t give up and fight until the end. What Cavani is suspended, Darwin Nunez injured, Nico De la Cruz coming out of Covid-19 and Jonathan Rodriguez having arrived on the hour.
Everything is on the table of the Celestial Complex to assemble the puzzle. The withdrawal of Edinson Cavani in the Selection of Uruguay for the Playoffs raised a first question: who in his place? The journalistic game of hypotheses was left open.
The first player you always think of when Luis Suárez or Cavani is missing is Maxi Gómez, but the forward was on the sidelines after contracting Covid-19. Before that, Darwin Núñez and Cristhian Stuani had already been ruled out due to injury.
A third option in offense is Jonathan Rodríguez, scorer and champion in Mexico with Cruz Azul, but the problem is that he just arrived this Tuesday night, joining training the day before the match against Paraguay.
Cabecita has played 24 matches with the National Team: 18 friendly matches and six official matches (four for the Qualifiers heading to Qatar, one in the 2015 Copa América in Chile and another in Brazil 2019). Rodríguez has converted three goals with La Celeste in 739 minutes on the court, having started only in four matches (all of a friendly nature).
The other striker on the squad is Juan Ignacio Ramírez, 24-year-old striker from Liverpool of Uruguay, who was called up for the first time for the senior team.
Given this, it would not be unreasonable to think about the background. Uruguay debuted against Chile without Cavani and maestro Tabárez created a team with only one forward and three midfielders behind. However, one of those three attacking midfielders was Giorgian De Arrascaeta, absent against Paraguay and Venezuela due to coronavirus (Brian Ocampo was summoned to cover this last-minute loss).
So things, the last line seems to have no news and would stop with Fernando Muslera; Martín Cáceres, José María Giménez, Diego Godín and Matías Viña. In any case, we must highlight the great moment in Sporting Lisboa of Sebastián Coates, the defender who arrives with the best performance.
In the midfield, there is a detail that is not minor and it is the return of Matías Vecino, who has recovered from his knee injury has returned to play for Inter in the last games of the season and is expected to start this Thursday. Vecino, Federico Valverde and Rodrigo Bentancur appear almost certain in the middle of the field, but its functions will depend on the scheme chosen by Tabárez. If it is a 4-4-2, Valverde would go to the right, the double five with Bentancur and Vecino, and to the left the options would be between Nicolás De La Cruz and Brian Rodríguez; In this scenario, Jonathan Rodríguez would be the one to accompany Luis Suárez in attack.
It could also be a 4-1-4-1: Vecino (or Bentancur) would be the central midfielder, ahead of him from right to left would be Valverde, Bentancur, De La Cruz and Brian or Jonathan Rodríguez, with Suárez in the center of the attack. The clear thing is that, for different reasons, there are still two positions in the starting eleven yet to be confirmed: De La Cruz a few days ago still suffered from COVID 19, Brian Rodríguez arrives with little filming in Almería in Spain, and Jonathan recently trained this Wednesday with the Celeste.
Even in this context, although it is unlikely, Facundo Torres and Brian Ocampo could at least be considered to fight for a place in the starting team; aspect that would be totally ruled out if the entire campus were available.
Can Tabárez surprise? Yes, of course, there are several examples in important matches: Josema Giménez’s debut against Colombia in the 2014 Brazil Qualifiers, Nico Lodeiro’s first match with Uruguay in the play-off against Costa Rica in 2009, or Vecino debuting against Brazil in 2016 .
In any case, the most likely team would be with Fernando Muslera; Martín Cáceres, José María Giménez, Diego Godín and Matías Viña; Federico Valverde, Rodrigo Bentancur, Matías Vecino and Nico De La Cruz, Brian or Jonathan Rodríguez and Luis Suárez.