World Cup 2022 team preview: Nunez and Bentancur set to star for Uruguay

The two-time winners are unlikely to add to their tally - but could still impress in Qatar

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The first-ever World Cup winners will be making their 14th appearance in the tournament at Qatar 2022. The two-time champions have to go back 72 years for their last success and are going into this year’s renewal not being fancied by too many to make it a third.

Uruguay will fancy their chances in at least making it through their group, being paired with Ghana, South Korea and Portugal, and with them reaching the knockout stages in the past three tournaments, Paddy Power football trader Mark Curley expects them to make it four on the bounce at the World Cup 2022.

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Uruguay World Cup 2022 qualifying record

Uruguay qualified for this year’s tournament after finishing third in the South America system. Winning their last four matches, only conceding one goal, they took one of the four automatic qualifying positions, finishing four points clear of Peru in fifth. Since qualifying, they’ve played five friendly matches, winning three, drawing one and losing one.

Who is the Uruguay manager?

Taking charge only last December, Diego Alonso will be one of the more inexperienced managers at this year’s competition. He’s only been in charge for nine international matches, but with an impressive 78% win percentage, early signs are looking good for the former Uruguay international.

He took over when signs where looking bad for Uruguay, losing four qualifiers in a row, but Alonso steadied the ship, only losing one out of nine of his matches in charge.

Uruguay World Cup squad

As formations go, Uruguay are one of those teams with more than one option. Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nunez will all be in the squad, so Alonso will have the choice of starting only one or all three when the time comes. They don’t just have strength up top, however, with Federico Valverde and Rodrigo Bentancur making up a strong midfield.

Both are regular starters with Champions League experience this season so will certainly be first on the teamsheet come the start of this tournament. On the defensive side, Jose Gimenez and Ronald Araujo will both be fighting to start, with old boy Diego Godin taking part in what is sure to be his final World Cup.

  • Goalkeepers: Sergio Rochet, Fernando Muslera, Sebastián Sosa.
  • Defenders: Diego Godín, José María Giménez, Ronald Araujo, Sebastián Coates, Martín Cáceres, Mathiás Olivera, Guillermo Varela, José Luís Rodríguez, Matías Viña.
  • Midfielders: Federico Valverde, Rodrigo Betancour, Matías Vecino, Lucas Torreira, Manuel Ugarte, Nicolás de la Cruz, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Facundo Pellistri, Facundo Torres, Agustín Canobbio.
  • Forwards: Luis Suárez, Darwin Núñez, Edinson Cavani, Maximiliano Gómez.

Uruguay Key Player

If Uruguay are going to want to progress to the late stages of this year’s World Cup, they are going to need a strong midfield core and Rodrigo Bentancur is the man to do this for them. Since joining Tottenham, he’s made great strides in becoming their main player in midfield, and this form seems to be carrying over to his international career.

Uruguay One to Watch

Liverpool’s big summer signing Darwin Nunez will be making his World Cup debut and it looks like he could play a big role in the Uruguay team. With both Suarez and Cavani getting a bit long in the tooth, Nunez may be the man they count on to bag some important goals.

He’s certainly shown some glimpses of what he has to offer since moving to Anfield and this tournament seems like a perfect place for him to impress.

Uruguay World Cup Prospects

Uruguay would have been happy to see their group draw with Ghana and South Korea both nations they’d expect to have the edge over. The group may come down to a clash with Portugal for the top spot, and with the strength of their team, I don’t see why they couldn’t put it up to them. Looking at the draw, you’d really feel like there’s a good chance Uruguay will meet South American rivals Brazil in the Round of 16.

Uruguay World Cup betting tips

Uruguay will certainly be focused on not conceding goals, and with the group more than likely coming down to their clash against Portugal, goal difference could easily come into play here and with the strength they have up top, I feel like they’re a big price. URUGUAY TO WIN GROUP H.

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Uruguay Group H Winner

Uruguay World Cup Winner Odds

50/1
Uruguay World Cup 2022 Winner

Uruguay World Cup 2022 Fixtures

November 24, 1pm: Uruguay v South Korea (BBC)

November 28, 7pm: Portugal v Uruguay (ITV)

December 2, 3pm: Ghana v Uruguay (BBC)

CLICK BELOW FOR TEAM PREVIEWS ON URUGUAY’S GROUP H RIVALS

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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