Italy v Uruguay - Match Preview: Liverpool striker key

Italy fan with scarf

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez will play a pivotal role in Uruguay’s clash against Italy in Group D today.

To be played on Tuesday 24th June 2014 at 17:00. Venue: Arena das Dunas, Natal.

Odds: Italy 6/4, Draw 9/4, Uruguay 9/5

Preview & injury news

Both of these teams are aware that only one of them will be going through to the knockout stage, although Italy have the slight luxury of knowing that a draw will be enough to see them through on goal difference.

Despite that, recent match form can be everything and Italy gave a very dour performance against Costa Rica losing 1-0, while Uruguay came up trumps against a reasonably strong England side winning 2-1.

Luis Suarez set the Uruguayan nation alight on Thursday and Italy will need to do everything they can to stop him.

It’s fair to say that Uruguay are the more attacking team out of the two and it will be interesting to see how Italy’s defence lines up.

Key stats

1) Luis Suarez is top of Uruguay’s all-time top scorer list with 40 goals in 78 matches.

2) Gianluigi Buffon will likely increase his lead at the top of Italy's all-time most capped list - he is currently on 141.

3) On both occasions that these two teams have met in the World Cup, Uruguay have failed to score.

Five players to watch

Luis Suarez - Magical brace and only 75% fit against England, he should now be 100% fit and will have one eye on the Golden Boot.

Mario Balotelli - Impressed against England, but failed to perform well against Costa Rica. Will want to bounce back in what will be a very important match.

Edinson Cavani - Delivered a peach of a ball for Suarez’s first goal against England, but has yet to showcase his real potential at the World Cup - this would be the perfect time.

Andrea Pirlo - Seemed to be shut out against Costa Rica, and Uruguay will need to learn their secrets if they want any success in this game.

Fernando Muslera - Pulled out some real saves against England and will need to be in the same form against Balotelli and co.

Last time they met

Italy 2-2 Uruguay (Italy won 3-2 on penalties) - June 2013

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