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Copa America 2011 Second Quarter Final: Argentina vs Uruguay Preview

Copa America 2011 Second Quarter Final
Argentina vs Uruguay
Venue: Santa Fe
Date: July 17 Time: 03:45 AM (IST

All set to renew their historic rivalry are Argentina and Uruguay when they meet in the Quarter Final of the Copa America 2011 at Santa Fe on Saturday evening. Lionel Messi and Diego Forlan once again will be the cynosures of all eyes as both the team heavily rely on their individual brilliance to emerge triumphant.

After two disappointing results against Bolivia and Venezuela, Argentina finally got their act together against Costa Rica. Coach Sergio Batista implemented wholesale changes which paid off as the Albicelestes picked up a 3-0 win.

Sergio Aguero was the star for Argentina as his two goals catapulted him to the top of the list of highest goal scorers at this tournament. Lionel Messi also had an excellent game and the Argentine public will be hoping that their stars are peaking at just the right time as the tournament enters its latter phase.

Sergio Batista will make no changes for Argentina as he calls the same line-up that earned a 3-0 victory against Costa Rica last time out.

Uruguay came through a competitive looking Group C after 1-1 draws with Peru and Chile and 1-0 win over Mexico. Álvaro Daniel Pereira has scored 2 of their 3 goals, Suarez has 1 and Forlan is yet to score but was named Man of the Match in the Mexico game.

They haven’t hit the heights of their 2010 World Cup finals performances but their group had arguably more quality than that which Argentina came through and there are few changes to a squad which did so well in South Africa. Moreover Forlan will become the nation’s most capped international player if he features against Argentina.

Oscar Tabarez will look to Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez to find the net against their neighbors as they are shorthanded with the absence of Edinson Cavani, who is still recovering from injury.

The pair’s head-to-head record reads 13-13 but Argentina of late has more success on its stride than Uruguay. The most recent match up was a crucial World Cup qualifier in Uruguay in September 2009 which Argentina won 1-0 and the home side ended the game with 9 men. A year or so earlier Argentina won 2-1 in front of their own supporters as ten players saw yellow. The last Copa meeting came back in 2004 and Argentina won a group stage match 4-2.

The winner of this match is likely to make it to the final as they will have to face either Columbia or Peru in the Semi Final who are considered to be the second grade team in the continent. But nothing is predictable. What all matters is the field performance of the players within those 90 minutes.

Probable Line-Ups:
Argentina:
 Romero; Zabaleta, Burdisso, G. Milito, Zanetti; Gago, Mascherano; Aguero, Messi, Di Maria; Higuain.
Uruguay:  Muslera; M. Pereira, Lugano, Victorino, Caceres, A. Pereira; Gonzalez, Perez, Rios; Forlan, Suarez. 

Last Three Matches

Argentina                                                                                                Uruguay

12 Jul 2011 Argentina 3 – 0 Costa Rica                     13 Jul 2011 Uruguay 1 – 0 Mexico
7 Jul 2011   Argentina 0 – 0 Colombia                       8 Jul 2011   Uruguay 1 – 1 Chile
2 Jul 2011   Argentina 1 – 1 Bolivia                           4 Jul 2011   Uruguay 1 – 1 Peru

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