By 90Min
June 19, 2018

Uruguay will face Saudi Arabia at the Rostov Arena on Wednesday in Group A's second round of games. 


La Celeste will be looking to add a further three points to their tally after a late Jose Gimenez header secured a vital victory against Egypt in their World Cup opener.  

Uruguay were far from convincing against the Pharaohs, who were missing their star player Mohamed Salah, but a win on Wednesday will go a long way to to ensuring their progress into the knockout rounds of the competition. 

In their way is a Saudi Arabia side who endured a torrid start to their campaign with a 5-0 loss at the hands of the hosts. The Green Falcons' woeful performance gifted the Russians all three points as well as a major goal difference boost. They'll need to win both of their remaining games to stand any chance of progressing to the round of 16. 


The Managers:


Juan Antonio Pizzi will be hoping for his side to deliver a better performance in their second game of the competition. 

The Spaniard spent most of his career in his home country, playing for the likes of Barcelona, Valencia and Villarreal before he retired in 2002. 

He started off his managerial career with Argentine side Club Atlético Colón in 2005, and spent the next few years managing a number of different teams in Argentina before he was appointed as Valencia's boss in 2013. 

PATRIK STOLLARZ/GettyImages

However, Valencia failed to qualify for a European competition for the first time in 16 years and Pizzi was consequently sacked in the summer. He took charge of Chile two years later for first job at international level and guided the Canarinha to the final of the Confederations Cup in 2017, where they lost 1-0 to Germany. 


The former Spanish international was sacked just months later, however, when Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup. He was appointed as Saudi Arabia's boss soon after. 

Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez will be hoping to make it two wins from two against the Green Falcons. 

The former defender also spent most of his career playing in his home country, featuring for six different Uruguayan clubs before he retired in 1979. 

Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

Soon after his retirement, Tabarez took up a coaching role with one his former clubs Bella Vista for three years. He spent two different spells in charge of Uruguay's Under-20 side in 1983 and 1987 before he took charge of the senior side in 1988. Two years later, La Celeste were defeated 1-0 by Italy in the World Cup's round of 16 and Tabarez's first stint with the national side ended. 

He spent the next few years managing in Europe and South America before was reappointed as Uruguay's boss in 2006.  


Form:

Recorded last six games:


Uruguay: WWLDWD

Saudi Arabia: LLLLWW


Team News:


Both managers will have their whole 23-man squads to pick from with neither side suffering any injuries nor suspensions in their opening games. 

Luis Suarez looked far from his influential best against Egypt, although it's unlikely that he will be dropped, and Gimenez's late winner may sway Oscar Tabarez into keeping with the same starting lineup. 


Saudi Arabia manager Juan Antonio Pizzi will be tempted to make a host of changes to his starting lineup following the dismal showing in Moscow, although his options are rather limited and it's unlikely the changes will be wholesale. 

Predicted Lineup:

Uruguay (4-4-2): Muslera; Caceres, Godin, Gimenez, Varela; Arrascaeta, Vecino, Betancur, Nandez; Cavani, Suarez

Saudi Arabia (4-1-4-1): Al-Mayoof; Al-Burayk, Hawsawi, Hawaswi, Shahrani; Otayf; Shehri, Jassam, Faraj, Dawsari; Sahlawi


Prediction:


It's hard to see Saudi Arabia performing any worse than they did against Russia. However, they're facing arguably the best side in Group A on Wednesday, a team which boasts the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. 

Against Russia, the Green Falcons looked particularly susceptible from set pieces and crosses into the box, while their lack of physicality allowed the Sbornaya to bully their opponents all over the pitch. The Uruguayans are just as powerful as well as technically superior to the Russians. 

Dan Mullan/GettyImages

La Celeste's defence is also bolstered by the rock-solid Atletico duo of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, were unable to trouble 38-year-old Sergei Ignashevich last week. 


Uruguay 3-0 Saudi Arabia

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