July 10, 2010
you are quite likely to watch the 3rd place match. Mainly because I like underdogs and because I like Uruguay’s strikers.
I would imagine that Luis Suarez’s value on the transfer market has gone up significantly. He has a wonderful strike rate, he’s talented, and he’s still young. Plus he makes smart plays like saving the ball on the goal line with his hand. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ajax get offers in the 20 to 30 million Euro range.
Interestingly, 2010 will be the first year to not feature Brazil, Argentina, Germany, or Italy in the final. Of course, that just means that you now have to add Holland to that list…or Spain, but since this is Holland’s 3rd final and Spain’s first…
July 6, 2010
More thoughts, in numbered form.
1. This isn’t really Uruguay on the field. It’s Uruguay minus injuries and suspensions. Suarez (he of the handball, who by the way plays in Holland for Ajax where he has scored 3 goals in every 4 games) is missing. Center defender and captain Lugano won’t be there, while the other center defender, Godin, missed the last game for injury, so you have to wonder how solid the middle of the defense will be. Defender Fucile won’t be there, nor will playmaker Lodeiro.
2. Holland is missing a van der Zwiel and De Jong. De Jong is pretty key, but de Zeeuw is a suitable replacement. I’m a bit more worried about Khalid Boulahrouz and his capacity for gaining penalties and red cards through his defending. If I recall correctly, van der Zwiel’s suspension is for the yellow he received for touching the ball when it was Kaka’s throw-in. Pretty ticky-tacky card that while I technically agree with, it is unique in this World Cup. A shame.
3. I’d expect Uruguay to come out fairly defensively, much like they did against France. Try and keep the game scoreless in the first half and hope Forlan can poach one in the second half. Suarez’s replacement Cavani isn’t a zero either, playing for Palermo in Italy.
4. Not many teams can be missing this many starters and win. Uruguay has only 3.5 million people. They also played 120 minutes in their last match. They’re a good team — if I recall correctly after their first game I said they are one of the most underrated teams at this World Cup, but I’m not going to search for the post right now — but those are alot of obstacles to overcome. Anything can happen in football, but Uruguay has alot of factors working against them.
5. Please Boulahrouz, please. Don’t do anything dumb. If you don’t, Holland cruises into the finals 3-1.