Humberto Suazo, Claudio Bravo and Jean Beausejour of Chile discuss tactics as they walk off at half time during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Brazil and Chile at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Chile and Uruguay are both missing a number of key players for their CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 qualifying match, but there will still be fantastic talent on the field
Though there are always eyes on Lionel Messi and Alejandro Sabella's Argentina, the CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 qualifying match between Uruguay and Chile was supposed to be the biggest match of the round. Unfortunately, some of the glamour of this matchup is now gone. Diego Forlan, Walter Gargano, Jorge Fucile, and Abel Hernandez are all unavailable for Uruguay due to injury. Chile's Alexis Sanchez and Mauricio Isla are in the team, but struggling for fitness, while five other players have been sent home for misconduct. Those players are disputing head coach Claudio Borghi's allegations that they showed up drunk to a team function.
Obviously, there will still be a number of great players on display, as these are two very talented and very deep teams, especially relative to their populations and the quality of their domestic leagues. Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez will still star for Uruguay, while Chile still have Humberto Suazo and Gary Medel, along with a lot of fantastic up and coming players based domestically.
Chile do not have a good record in Montevideo, and the fact that they're missing around half of their first choice starting XI due to suspension or injury will not help them. The loss of Forlan will hurt Uruguay, but since his World Cup Golden Ball performance, he's been third best on Uruguay's potent forward line.
Both teams have favored variations on a base 3-4-3 setup, but with so many first choice players out for both teams, who knows what the managers will do with their formations and other tactics? Everything is a guessing game with this many key players out, so we're just going to have to wait and see what happens.