Argentina vs. Uruguay World Cup Qualifying, Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay 6 PM EST Wednesday October 14, 2009
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Bet this match at the best soccer bookmaker on the planet: 5Dimes.
In the last World Cup Qualifying game for both teams the huge River Plate derby may decide the outcomes of both and if they will be heading to South Africa next summer. As it stands Argentina is in 4th place with 25 points in the South American WC qualifying group with Uruguay right behind with 24 points, and Ecuador with 23 points. Here is the scenario with only one more qualifying game remaining. If Argentina draws or wins this match they will automatically qualify. If Uruguay wins they will automatically qualify. Ecuador plays at Chile tomorrow and they need to win and if they do and Uruguay loses then Uruguay is out. Basically, the 4th spot will automatically qualify while the 5th place team will have to play the 4th place team from the CONCACAF (North/Central America) region to qualify.
This game is one of the biggest rivalries in South America and this game has a lot riding on it. If Uruguay wins this home match at Estadio Centenario in Montevideo they will play in their first World Cup since 2002. There will be over 70,000 fans at the stadium and tickets were sold out only 24 hours after they went on sale.
Even though Argentina is only one point away from playing in South Africa they have struggled when playing in Montevideo. Argentina did not play well in their last qualifying match vs. Peru, as they needed a late goal to secure the win. They have yet to look like the team that is always a threat come World Cup time.
Most sportsbooks have Uruguay are the slight favorites posted at 2.35 with Argentina posted at 2.65 with a draw at 3.40.
Uruguay Recent Form:
10/10/2009 Ecuador 1 Uruguay 2 (WC Qualifier)
9/9/2009 Uruguay 3 Columbia 1 (WC Qualifier)
9/5/2009 Peru 1 Uruguay 0 (WC Qualifier)
8/12/2009 Algeria 1 Uruguay 0 (Friendly)
6/10/2009 Venezuela 2 Uruguay 2 (WC Qualifier)
Argentina Recent Form
10/10/2009 Argentina 2 Peru 1 (WC Qualifier)
9/30/2009 Argentina 2 Ghana 0 (Friendly)
9/9/2009 Paraguay 1 Argentina 0 (WC Qualifier)
9/5/2009 Argentina 1 Brazil 3 (WC Qualifier)
8/12/2009 Russia 2 Argentina 3 (Friendly)
It looks as if Uruguay head coach Oscar Washington Tabarez will play the exact lineup he did when they beat Ecuador. Cristian Rodriguez has recovered from his injury and he is active for this match, but will start it on the bench.
Since Argentina has not been solid on defense head Coach Diego Maradona may play 4 men back. Argentina is match fit for this game, as they have no big injuries to worry about and Maradona has a full squad to work with.
Since Argentina only needs a draw to automatically qualify they may pack the midfield and even bring their strikers back to help on defense.
With only 2 starting strikers in this match the hero from the Peru match Martin Palermo will not start up front, as Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain will most likely get the nod.
Atletico Madrid’s Diego Forlan and Ajax’ Luis Suarez will be the strikers for Uruguay in this match and there is a lot of pressure on them to provide some offense for the home squad. Both scored in the last match against Ecuador.
Speaking of Forlan he is the most dangerous striker that the home team has and Argentina needs to mark him all match since he is so dangerous around the box.
Lionel Messi may be one of the best young strikers in the world, but he has not played well in the last few World Cup qualifying matches. However, he is always set for a brilliant game and this would be the one to do it.
If Argentina packs the midfield and controls the game from that area it will be very hard for Uruguay to score.
It will be interesting to see how Uruguay plays, as if they mount a full-out attack they have to be wary of a counter attack. They cannot afford to lose, especially if Ecuador beats Chile, which is a good possibility since Chile has already qualified and they may rest some of their key players.
Jason’s Pick: With all that it at stake in this match I see nothing less than a draw. It will be hard for Uruguay to attack since Argentina will fill the midfield and backfield with players. There are too many exciting players for this game to end in a goalless draw, but I think the outcome of this game will be 1-1.