Colombia v Uruguay - Match Preview: Arsenal target will be key

Luis Suarez will start his four month exile from football when Uruguay play Colombia at the Maracana in the last 16 of the World Cup.

To be played on Saturday 28th June 2014 at 21:00. Venue: Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro.

Odds: Colombia 1/1, Draw 23/10, Uruguay 3/1

Preview & injury news

Luis Suarez will start his nine-match ban from international football when Uruguay play fellow South American side Colombia in the last 16 of the World Cup.

The Liverpool striker bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 win earlier this week that was enough to see them finish second in Group D and qualify for the round of 16.

FIFA acted quickly on the matter, and even though the incident occurred on Tuesday, his lengthy ban will start immediately and he will miss the rest of the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Colombia will head into this encounter full of confidence. Even without star striker Radamel Falcao, Los Cafeteros won all three of their group matches.

Porto forward Jackson Martinez, who had been struggling with international goals before this tournament, scored twice in their last match in the group stage - a 4-1 win over Japan.

In that encounter, the South Americans made eight changes to their starting line-up, but as they did so well, it is unclear as to who coach Jose Pekerman will pick against Uruguay.

Key stats

1) Uruguay have won six of their last eight encounters with Colombia (D1 L1).

2) The last nine games between Colombia and Uruguay have produced 32 goals - an average of 3.6 per game.

3) Colombia have won as many games at this year's World Cup (3) as they did in their previous 13 in the competition (3).

Five players to watch

James Rodriguez - James Rodriguez has been Colombia’s player of the World Cup so far. In the last match against Japan, he come off the bench to assist Martinez’s both goals with some brilliant creative play, before getting himself on the scoresheet with a delightful chip in the last minute. That goal means that he has scored in all three of Colombia’s World Cup matches so far - he is definitely someone who Uruguay need to keep quiet if they are to win this one.

Edinson Cavani - In the absence of Suarez, all eyes will be on Edinson Cavani in the hope that he can score the goals that sends Uruguay as far as possible in this tournament. He scored in the first match when Suarez was missing with injury, but that was from the penalty spot and he hasn’t scored since. The Paris Saint-Germain forward will need to step up to the plate, and hope Uruguay won’t be missing the Liverpool talisman.

Jackson Martinez - Now that the Porto striker has scored two goals for Colombia, ending his international drought, he will be full of confidence that he can continue where he left off. Martinez has been linked with Arsenal after his superb form for Porto over the last 12 months in which he netted 29 goals in total. Colombia will hope that he can continue his good form.

Diego Godin - The Atletico Madrid defender has scored very important goals for club and country in recent weeks: he scored the goal that won the league for Atletico Madrid, the first in the Champions League final and the goal for Uruguay against Italy that sent them through to the knockout rounds. His defending has been good as well - Uruguay should also look out for his potent threat from set pieces.

Pablo Armero - The Udinese defender has started all three matches for Colombia in centre-back so far. Their defending can be breached with minimal ease, and this Armero will need to be solid in keeping Cavani quiet - he will be vital if they are to go through to their first World Cup quarter-final.

Last time they met

Uruguay 2 (Cavani 77', Stuani 80') Colombia 0. Montevideo, Uruguay. 10th September 2013.

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