Spain vs Uruguay: Confederations Cup Group B Preview

Spain4 years have passed since the last Confederations Cup and another year left until the 2014 World Cup over at Brazil. Now, in recent lights, Uruguay have been booming with success as they reached their glorifying goal in winning the Copa America after knocking out Messi’s Argentina and the on-form Paraguay.

As for the Spaniards, there are few words that could be used to describe their European and international success. The recent European champions have continued to be indisputably consistent and haven’t stumbled upon many changes throughout their road to the world cup and their occasional friendlies.  Both teams will be working on each other’s weak-points rather than focusing on their own strengths.

Uruguay predicted starting line-up: Muslera | M Pereira, Lugano, Godin, Caceres | Perez, Gargano, A Pereira | Cavani, Forlan, Suarez

Uruguay completely rely on their front-line, and judging by the names mentioned in that line-up, you can’t blame them. Uruguay tend to play a solid (4-3-3) and use their midfielders as transitional distractions for the wingers. Caceres consistently makes the run-ins which, at times, forces a (3-3-4) when Uruguay go on full force.

Now Uruguay may not be the best team in terms of distribution of talent among each position, but they are extremely flexible and could play via aerial balls, possession, and flank penetration. Much like Bayern Munich’s attack-force, Uruguay have two world class forwards on the wings (Cavani and Suarez), and even-though they aren’t fully established as wingers, they definitely cause enough offensive impact. That over-whelming consistency of attacks on the wings could tire any back-line, let alone Arbeloa and the attack-minded Jordi Alba.

UruguayUruguay will be looking to counter at a blistering rate and break Spain’s weary offside trap. Spain’s weak point will be losing the ball upfront, and if the ball is automatically converted to either of the flanks, then Uruguay might just see themselves playing a 3v3 battle upfront; that could just be enough to score a goal or two. As for their back-line, it needs to be as compact as ever, and Caceres needs to control his runs upfront because any misinterpretation could lead to a through pass which eventually leads to an easy tap-in.

Spain’s predicted line-up: Valdes | Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, Alba | Javi Martinez, Busquets | Navas, Xavi, Iniesta | Soldado

Starting with the Iker-less line-up, it is predicted that the Spanish captain will not be starting for tonight’s game as Spain probably will avoid risking a not fully fit Iker; therefore, Valdes will be the next best alternative. Seeing how Xabi Alonso is ruled out of the Confederations Cup with a back-injury, the Champions League-winning Javi will be the most probable replacement to compliment Busquets in the southern part of the midfield.

Moreover, judging by the offensive brilliance that Uruguay possesses, it will be most probable that Spain will play a double-pivot of Javi-Busquets and play a (4-2-3-1). This gives the Spaniards an easier task of getting the ball behind the midfielders, in addition to adding a pinch of defensive solidity to secure the back-line from any sudden counters plus adding possession to the table.

Cesc-Xavi-Iniesta seems unrealistic, and probably is, but in theory, Spain might be looking to switch up the positions and keep a bit of pace at the same time so the new citizen, Navas, might be the right solution for that equation. Spain will be looking to do the usual, keep the ball and eventually find spaces. Uruguay will definitely add the pressure and try to dispossess them in-hope of finding that one counter. Jordi Alba should be alert at all times and continuously look for spaces behind the midfield to make those run ins. The more spontaneous Spain get, the better.

This game should be a joy to watch; one being because they are two enormous squads with talent leaking from both sides of the pitch, and second because both play beautiful offensive football. I will not give any predictions regarding the outcome of the game, the Spaniards being the usual favorites, but I still see this game ending up with a few goals and hopefully an entertaining 90 minutes for the fans.

Written by Hasan Al