Italy v Uruguay - Key battles: Liverpool star will be crucial

Luis Suarez Uruguay

Liverpool star striker Luis Suarez will need to overcome Juventus' Giorgio Chiellini in order for Uruguay to win against Italy today.

Luis Suarez v Giorgio Chiellini

The whole world saw how good Luis Suarez is on the biggest stage when he’s not even fully fit. With a further four days of rest, recovery and training, he’s going to be even better. Giorgio Chiellini will need to be at his best if he is to stop the Uruguayan maestro.

Suarez has a knack of making runs that no one else sees, and Chiellini will certainly have been studying his movements rigorously this week. When a player is that good, there is no guarantee that he can be stopped, but Chiellini is as good a defender as any to be the one to try.

Mario Balotelli v Arevalo Rios

Mario Balotelli showed how good he is against England, but failed to maintain that form Costa Rica. The former Manchester City striker is definitely a player for the big occasions and will be pumped up for this.

Arevalo Rios had a brilliant game against England, quashing nearly every Three Lions attack that came through the middle. Wayne Rooney struggled against the 32-year-old, who will most definitely be deployed to annoy Balotelli. This should be a great battle.

Edinson Cavani v Andrea Barzagli

Edinson Cavani grabbed a great assist against England and scored a penalty against Costa Rica, but has still yet to show everyone at this World Cup what he can really do. Now is the time for him to step up.

Andrea Barzagli will be looking to clamp down all attacks coming his way and after seeing what happened when England backed off Cavani for him to deliver that assist, he will be keen keep the Paris Saint-Germain striker under check.

Barzagli is 36 but has been showing that age does not matter, but how will he fare now after two games and Cavani and Suarez running at him?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch