Colombia v Uruguay Preview

Round of 16 | Saturday 28 June | Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro | 22:00




The immaculate Colombian’s will meet Uruguay, who recovered from a shock defeat to Costa Rica to escape Group D ahead of Italy and England. However, they may have more recovering to do after their talisman Luis Suarez bit off more than he could chew against Italy.

To Win (90mins)
Colombia 21/20
Draw 9/4 
Uruguay 26/10

COLOMBIA

Colombia have more than lived up to their billing as one of the dark horses of the tournament after thoroughly dominating Group C.

Los Cafeteros joined the Netherlands as teams with perfect records in the group stage. They also scored nine goals and matched the Dutch with a +7 goal difference.

It is their first time reaching the last 16 of the World Cup since 1990. This Colombia side have proven themselves an excellent team and can legitimately dream of going deep into the competition from here.

With the pace and skill of Victor Ibarbo and Juan Cuadrado on the wings, and the delicate direction of James Rodriguez in the middle, Colombia have been very good, proving themselves better than the celebrated teams of 1994 and 1998 who went out in the group stages.

They have matched the achievements of the side who reached the last 16 in 1990 and could well exceed them.

In the last 12 meetings between these teams, Uruguay have had the edge with 6 wins to Colombia’s four. However, it must be noted that in Colombia’s last two victories over the Uruguayans they recorded 5-0 and 4-0 wins.

Juan Cuadrado adds another dimension to the team by offering an option down the right wing.  Cuadrado’s speed as well as his attacking capabilities make him a dangerous option for Los Cafeteros and makes the others just a bit more dangerous.

After scoring more than 40 goals since joining FC Porto in 2012, every body expected Jackson Martinez to lead the charge of scoring the goals for Colombia.

However, Teofilo Gutierrez has been coach Jose Pekerman’s choice to spearhead the attack. The Porto star did impress against Japan by netting a brace and did put his case in for a staring birth.

Despite his’s impressive showing, Pekerman will likely return with his first-choice striker, Gutierrez, against Uruguay.

The River Plate striker scored two goals in Colombia’s 4-0 win over Uruguay in World Cup qualifying back in 2012. Gutierrez also serves as a better foil for the team’s midfield weapons such as James Rodriguez and Cuadrado, who also got on the scoresheet against Japan.

Defending remains Colombia’s biggest weakness, but their backline will have an infinitely easier time keeping Uruguay out if the dangerous Luis Suarez is suspended as expected.

Even if Colombia does let a goal slip by, they’re liable to score a couple more themselves given the way their forwards are performing. 

URUGUAY

Luis Suarez was mired in another biting controversy as Uruguay skipper Diego Godin sent his country into the last 16 with a late header to down Italy 1-0 in Group D at Arena das Dunas.

For those keeping score, that’s now two wins in the two World Cup games for Uruguay since Suarez’s return from a knee injury.

Although Suarez was less effective against Italy than he was when he almost single-handedly sunk England with two goals, a red card to Claudio Marchisio and a Godin goal were enough to see Uruguay through.

However, Suarez’s participation in their Round of 16 match with Colombia is in major doubt not because of his health, but because of his “appetite for the game”.

Suarez, who has an unsavory history of biting his opponents, bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, which would’ve been a red card offense but was not seen by the referee.

There’s now a very real possibility FIFA retroactively punishes Suarez with a suspension for their upcoming game.

Losing Suarez again would obviously be a huge blow for Uruguay, in part because Diego Forlan hardly looked like the man who was crowned the best player in the 2010 World Cup in his only start against Costa Rica.

If Suarez does get suspended, the team’s hopes will fall on the broad shoulders of Edinson Cavani, who, apart from his penalty goal against Costa Rica, has not shined as bright in the tournament.

Godin, who was so prolific for Atletico Madrid with six goals this season, should also be a useful goal threat in set pieces against Colombia.

However, the central defender will be needed more at the back to keep Colombia’s multiple attacking threats at bay.

Betting Prediction: COLOMBIA 21/20
Colombia have looked an irresistible force in Brazil. Known for their coffee growing, they also have a tendancy to cause a stir. With the likes of Cuadrado, Rodriguez and Gutierrez ripping defences apart, Uruguay’s defence could be in tatters. While Colombia have a 100 % win rate so far, Uruguay have crawled their way into the knockout stages. Uruguay without Suarez will be toothless rather than ruthless and should go down here. Colombia are tipped for the win. 

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

Bet on this match now at Hollywoodbets.net! Haven’t got an account? Open one here now!