By Malena Castaldi and Felipe Llambias
MONTEVIDEO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Uruguay forwards Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are the perfect age to shine at a World Cup and in June they will have the added bonus of experience after reaching the semi-finals in 2010, said coach Oscar Tabarez.
The twice champions, who have an enviable strike force in Suarez and Cavani, face Costa Rica, England and Italy in Group D in Brazil.
"There is an age of maximum output in an outfield player and it applies to Suarez, Cavani, (Martin) Caceres. All those ... are at an ideal age," Tabarez told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.
Liverpool's Suarez is 27 while Paris St Germain's Cavani and Juventus defender Caceres are 26.
The majority of Tabarez's squad will have the experience of having been a part of the team that reached the last four in South Africa four years ago and that also won the Copa America in Argentina in 2011.
"We have prior experience which not all the other teams have had. We're going to try to make the most of it and turn ourselves into the difficult team to face that we've always been," said the coach known as the 'Master'.
Tabarez added the South American champions would "have to work hard on limiting their opponents ... and then try as a team to get the best from the individual potential of some players".
He said he was wondering whether to opt for limited possession, relying on fast counter-attacks exploiting the skills of the strikers.
"Keeping possession is a problem we've had and what we're asking ourselves is whether we should try to overcome it in the little time we have left or maybe to continue to make the most of our attacking strengths," he said at the Uruguay Celeste (Light Blue) training complex outside Montevideo.
Diego Forlan, voted best player at the 2010 finals, is now 34 and past his prime but could still be useful as a substitute.
"I'm not expecting him to have the best World Cup of his life but he can contribute more than other players in his position," said Tabarez who steered Uruguay to the second round in Italy in 1990 and began his second spell in charge in 2006.
Uruguay will have three warmup friendlies against European opponents with their matches against Italy and England in mind.
They visit Austria in Klagenfurt on March 5 before hosting Northern Ireland on May 30 and Slovenia on June 4, both at the Centenario in Montevideo where they won their first World Cup in 1930.
Also shock winners at the previous Brazil finals in 1950, Uruguay face Costa Rica in Fortaleza on June 14, England in Sao Paulo on June 19 and Italy in Natal on June 24. (Writing by Rex Gowar; editing by Tony Jimenez)
- Sports & Recreation
- Luis Suarez
- Edinson Cavani