Liverpool star or Chelsea target - who'd be the bigger WC loss?

Luis Suarez Uruguay

Two of the most feared marksmen in Europe are battling to be fit for the biggest football tournament on the planet, but who would be missed the most?

They have been two of Europe's most prolific strikers this season, but injuries threaten to rob the watching public of the talents of both Diego Costa and Luis Suarez in this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Even if both players, as is expected, reach sufficient fitness to warrant inclusion once the squad deadline on June 2nd has been and gone, they will have to work hard to reach the form and confidence they were exhibiting in the latter stages of the season.

Diego Costa has been carrying a hamstring injury since Atletico's match with Malaga, and has suffered two on field breakdowns. Though the injury was a grade one tear, they are notoriously difficult to shake off if the player returns too early, and have been guilty of blunting many great forwards over the years through poor recovery management.

Costa was very much likely to be leading the line for Spain throughout the tournament, with there being few other in form options for the current World Cup holders. Juventus' Fernando Llorente is perhaps the only other striker in the squad that could step in and expect to give his 'A game' on account of recent club form.

The biggest problem for Costa is that the upcoming two friendly games (against Bolivia and El Salvador) were a genuine chance at minutes on the pitch for a player many expect big things from, ahead of the games that really matter. He has just 90 minutes under his belt with the national team, and as the team's sole striker if he was to play, chemistry and familiarity will be hugely important to his country's attacking game. 

Despite this, Spain have plenty more quality throughout the squad, particularly in midfield where those that won the tournament in South Africa are still exuding class. Spain are once again one of the favourites for the trophy, so a long tournament beckons for Costa to get acquainted to his new team mates.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez on the other hand is very much Uruguay's talisman and great hope. Despite the South American nation having several other strong players, he is the man that can really strike fear into any opponent he faces.

Suarez had surgery on his left knee last week after suffering "intense pain" when training with the national squad. He, like Costa, should be included in the squad lists on June 2nd barring any major setbacks, but may only start training fully in the week leading up to Uruguay's first game with Costa Rica. What is likely to happen is that Uruguay's record scorer is rested for that game and brought back into the fold to terrorise the English defence on June 19th, much as he has done this past Premier League season.

Of course, in Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan Uruguay have two players that can come in and deputise for the Liverpool star, but Cavani needs to step his game up for his country to do so while Forlan, at 35, is winding down his playing career in Japan.

It may be the case that Suarez get's less of a chance to showcase his talents as Uruguay will do well to emerge from a group where one of them, England and Italy will be hugely disappointed not to qualify. Unless he hits the ground running in Brazil, Uruguay are likely to rue Suarez's injury more significantly than Spain do Costa's, purely on account of Suarez having been such a vital component of their setup for so long.

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