Uruguay to face Peru in Copa America quarters

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Salvador (Brazil), June 28 (IANS) Seeking to extend its run as one of the favourites to win the title, Uruguay will play the 2019 Copa America quarterfinal clash against Peru here on Sunday, who will aim for a rebound after a 5-0 defeat to Brazil.

Despite the big loss Peru conceded on the final Group A match-day, Uruguay will approach the match with respect for the opponent led by Paolo Guerrero, who will be missing Jefferson Farfan’s next match, reports Efe news.

Guerrero’s fellow forward Farfán suffered a knee injury during the Brazil game that will rule him out for the rest of the tournament, a setback for the team led by coach Ricardo Gareca.

In contrast, Uruguay’s team will have available the formidable attacking duo of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, who have scored two goals apiece.

Uruguay has not failed to qualify for the semi-final for more than two editions back to back.

Peru, meanwhile, has made the semi-final in two out of the most recent three editions of the tournament in 2011 and 2015.

Uruguay, the Group C winner, was not immune to injuries, as the tournament is over for midfielder Matías Vecino, full back Diego Laxalt will be sidelined during the Peru game and midfielder Lucas Torreira has been struggling with stomach problems in the wake of which he lost 3 kilograms after several days of fever and vomiting.

Thus, Giovanni González is set to start as right back, sending Martín Cáceres to the left side, while Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde is expected to be slotted in the starting lineup in case Torreira does not recover in time.

Uruguay’s midfield is expected to feature Nahitan Nandez on the right side and Giorgian de Arrascaeta on his left, leaving Nicolas Lodeiro on the bench.

Their first mission is to build up the attack and feed forwards Luis Suárez and Édinson Cavani.

At the other end of the field, Peru has made it thus far as two of the best third-placed teams, having earned a 3-1 win over Bolivia, a scoreless draw versus Venezuela before the 5-0 rout by Brazil rounded off its round robin campaign.

Argentine coach Ricardo Gareca apparently still has doubts about the starting lineup.

Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese; defenders Luis Advícula, Carlos Zambrano and Miguel Trauco; midfielders Renato Tapia, Joshimar Yotún, André Carrillo and Cristian Cueva, and forward Paolo Guerrero have slots secured in the starting lineup unless something extraordinary happens.

For a place in the defence line, Ánderson Santamaría and Luis Abram are vying, while Gareca’s plan will determinate whether he opts for Josepmir Ballón in a defensive approach or Edison Flores for an attacking edge.

Uruguay leads Peru in the head-to-head record by 36 victories to 15 defeats, having played for 13 draws and scored 107 goals, nearly double Peru’s 58.

Peru, however, defeated Uruguay in the last match between them, in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

They last met each other at the Copa America in 2011, when they played to a 1-1 draw in the group stage and then a brace by Suarez gave Uruguay the win in the semi-final.

–IANS

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