Uruguay and Paraguay step up their quests to qualify for the 2022 World Cup when they face off on Thursday at 11pm (UK time).
The two sides are level on points after four games, but would have very different fates as things stand.
How to live stream Uruguay vs Paraguay online:
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Where to watch Uruguay vs Paraguay on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: N/A
Scoreline prediction: Uruguay 1-1 Paraguay
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Uruguay vs Paraguay build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
We are only at the early stages of Conmebol World Cup qualifying with four of 18 rounds of fixtures done, but Uruguay certainly won’t be happy with their start. The two-time World Cup winners have won two and lost two of their opening four games and currently sit fifth in the qualifying group. As things stand, that would only be enough to secure a spot in the inter-confederation play-off, but Uruguay can move into the automatic spots with a win against Paraguay.
That’s because Paraguay are above Uruguay in the table, level on points but sneaking into the top four thanks to their goal difference. Paraguay are one of the three teams left in qualifying still unbeaten after four games (alongside Brazil and Argentina), but they have drawn three times, with Venezuela the only team to lose to them so far. A win against Uruguay would be a big statement for Paraguay while also increasing the gap between themselves and their opponents. World Cup qualifying will also provide a warm up for Copa America, which kicks off later in June.
- Uruguay (vs Brazil): Capana; Cacerers, Godin, Gimenez, Oliveros; Nandez, Bentancur, Torreira, De La Cruz; Cavani, Nunez.
- Paraguay (vs Bolivia): Silva; Espinola, Gomez, Balbuena, Junior Alonso; Gimenez, Cardozo Lucena, Sanchez; O Romero, Sanabria, A Romero.
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Player to watch: Luis Suarez (Uruguay)
Luis Suarez is the star man for Uruguay but they will be even more reliant on the Atletico Madrd man in this game, as Oscar Tabarez deals with an attacking crisis. Edinson Cavani is suspended for his red card against Brazil, while Darwin Nunez, Maxi Gomez, Cristhian Stuani and Giorgian De Arrascaeta are all ruled out.
It’s fortunate, then, that Suarez goes into World Cup qualifying off the back of an excellent season at club level. The 34-year-old scored 21 goals in 34 games to help Atletico Madrid win the La Liga title, in his first season after joining from Barcelona. Suarez scored in each of Atletico’s final two games of the campaign, with both goals match winners that stopped Diego Simeone’s side from slipping up in the final stretch.
The Uruguayan also has a good record in World Cup qualifying and is the joint-top scorer in the current Conmebol campaign with four goals, taking his total tally for the nation to 63, more than any other player in Uruguay’s history.
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