Italy and Uruguay were expected to progress from Group D, but as things have panned out, one of them will miss out on a place in the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup finals.
Both the Azzurri and the South American side were defeated by Costa Rica, who have booked their place in the first knockout round, leaving their more illustrious rivals to scrap for a place among the best 16 teams in Brazil (England are already out).
The encounter between the two teams will be at Arena das Dunas in Natal on Tuesday, and it promises to be an exciting one.
Uruguay will have the momentum, as they will head into the contest on the back of a victory. Oscar Tabarez’s side suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica in their opening match at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, but recovered from the loss to get the better of England 2-1 in Sao Paulo.
On the other hand, Italy kicked off their 2014 World Cup campaign with a 2-1 triumph over the Three Lions, but were then stunned 1-0 by the tournament’s surprise package Costa Rica in Recife.
Liverpool striker Suarez was an unused substitute against the Central Americans, but started against England and scored both the goals.
The 27-year-old Reds star is set to start against Italy on Tuesday as well, and has underlined the reasons why he is confident of a victory in Belo Horizonte.
‘Italy are bound to be tired due to the great heat they have played in’, La Gazzetta dello Sport quotes him as saying. ‘And hopefully we can make the most of this... They are strong in midfield, but I think they have defensive shortcomings. We have players who have been playing in Italy, and they have said that we can punish them’.
Italy have conceded in both their matches at the World Cup so far and indeed defensively they have not looked as solid as they would have liked to.
However, the 2006 World Cup winners do have attacking and creative players who could hurt Uruguay.
One should note that the match between England and Uruguay would have likely ended in a draw had Suarez not been given the ball away for his late winner.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will train his players how to keep Suarez and his strike-partner Edinson Cavani under check, and will drill it into them not to make the same mistake that the Three Lions made.