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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SOUTH AFRICA vs URUGUAY >>> match Previews

Both South Africa and Uruguay drew their opening matches in Group A, against Mexico and France respectively, and while the hosts produced the better performance, both sides will be happy to have held supposedly superior opposition. But this now becomes a pivotal game for both teams; the time for sharing points is over and the winner of this clash will have one foot in the next round.

Bafana Bafana took a long time to settle into their opening match and were outplayed for swathes of the match, but Siphiwe Tshabalala's blistering strike remains the goal of the tournament so far and although Carlos Alberto Parreira's side conceded a 79th-minute equaliser, South Africa were only denied an injury-time winner by the thickness of a post. With many pundits expecting the hosts to be nothing more than whipping boys, the 1-1 result against Mexico will give them the belief they can compete.

Uruguay went with a very defensive formation against France, with five at the back and two holding midfielders, but will surely have to come out and attack against a side they will have earmarked to beat. Ajax striker Luis Suarez was disappointing in Cape Town and with only Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan carrying any threat, the forwards in Oscar Tabarez's side will have to really step up their game if the coach switches to an attacking formation.

Throw in the fact that young attacking-midfield star Nicolas Lodeiro will be missing after being sent off against France and that Uruguay will have to play at altitude in Pretoria and this looks like an evenly matched bout.
South Africa player to watch: Steven Pienaar
The Everton player's form is crucial if South Africa are to get a result. He was the inspiration behind most of Bafana's attacks against Mexico and his creative passing is a key part of their pacy, counter-attacking style. He loves to drift in from the left wing to augment the attack and he may have to if Uruguay once again opt to pack out the defence.
Uruguay player to watch: Luis Suarez
Billed as one of the bright new hopes of Uruguayan football, Ajax striker Suarez failed to deliver against France. But his manager is willing to give him another go. "It is not good to change players who didn't give their best performances, then they lose even more confidence," Tabarez said. Suarez needs to deliver with Sebastian Abreu waiting in the wings.
Key Battle: Aaron Mokoena v Diego Forlan
Portsmouth's Mokoena usually lines up as a defensive midfielder for his club, but he played as a centre back in South Africa's opening game and was one of the few defenders that put in a solid performance. On Wednesday he will be charged with stopping La Celeste star Forlan. The Atletico Madrid forward, who scored both goals in the Europa League final, has twice won the European Golden Shoe and it only looks matter of time before he scores.
Trivia: Never in the history of the World Cup has the host nation been eliminated in the first round. However, in their last two tournaments Bafana Bafana have fallen at the group stage.
Stats: The South Africa players only touched the ball eight times in the opposition's penalty area against Mexico, while Uruguay only touched the ball five times in France's 18-yard box.


Take SOUTH AFRICA + 1/4 @ odds 1.90 (Main Bet)

SOUTH AFRICA WIN @ odds 2.94 (Small Bet)

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