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Soccer-Uruguay World Cup draw factbox

Reuters

MONTEVIDEO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Factbox on World Cup

qualifiers Uruguay:

Form and Prospects

Uruguay at a World Cup in Brazil is enough to send shudders

down the spine of Brazilian fans given the stigma still attached

to Brazil's most famous defeat when they lost 2-1 to the

Uruguayans in the 1950 tournament's "Maracanazo".

That feat, winning the decider at the Maracana when a draw

in the no-final format would have been enough for Brazil to lift

the trophy should spur coach Oscar Tabarez's reigning South

American champions to surpass themselves in trademark fashion on

familiar South American soil.

And they have, of course, won the World Cup twice on the

continent, winning the inaugural competition in Uruguay in 1930,

followed up by victory in Brazil 20 years later.

In style the team is essentially the same as that which

swept them to the semi-finals four years ago, playing 4-4-2 but

breaking into 4-3-1-2 when in attack with Cristian "Cebolla"

(onion) Rodriguez in the Diego Forlan "hole" behind Luis Suarez

and Edinson Cavani.

Rodriguez has had the added incentive of wanting to reach

the finals because he missed out on South Africa when a

four-match suspension picked up in the qualifiers meant he would

be unavailable for the first two group games and Tabarez opted

to leave him at home.

The defence is virtually unchanged and the same three

holding midfielders are available for selection starting with

the in-form Egidio Arevalo Rios.

Generational turnover comes in the form mainly of forwards

Gaston Ramirez and Cristhian Stuani, while Nicolas Lodeiro has

matured over the four-year cycle and brings creative talent to

the midfield.

Coach: Oscar Washington Tabarez

Nicknamed El Maestro (teacher), Tabarez has been in charge

for more than 100 matches over two spells - 1988-90 and from

2006.

When he leaves the job his legacy will have been to head

Uruguay's most successful national team since 1970 and provided

a sound platform for future generations of Uruguayan players.

As coach, the 66-year-old has led Uruguay to the World Cup

semi-finals in 2010 and the country's record 15th Copa America

crown in 2011.

He has successfully handled the team's transition from one

World Cup to the next, carefully introducing new talent while

keeping the old guard fresh.

Diego Forlan owed almost as much to Tabarez as to his own

skills when he was voted the best player at the 2010 finals in

South Africa and at 34 he is still a key member of the squad,

now in a supersub role.

Key player: Luis Suarez

One of the top goal predators in the world, Suarez has

forged a name for himself at the top of the game despite

behaviour problems on the pitch, especially as a Liverpool

player in England.

He is highly regarded by his peers and team mates and his

ability to score all types of goals while also creating chances

for those around him has helped turn Liverpool into potential

Premier League title contenders this season.

Suarez reads the game extremely well and this allows him to

dart into scoring positions by surprise or set up team mates. He

runs tirelessly in and around the box and even as deep as the

halfway line looking for the best option to link with fellow

attackers.

He top-scored with 11 goals, one more than Argentina's

Lionel Messi, in 14 appearances in the 16-match South American

qualifying group, missing two through suspension.

He holds the Uruguay scoring record with a tally of 39,

three more than Diego Forlan.

How they qualified - South American zone 5th place; winners

of inter-continental playoff v Jordan

2011

Oct 7 Bolivia H W 4-2 Suarez, Lugano 2,

Cavani

Oct 11 Paraguay A D 1-1 Forlan

Nov 11 Chile H W 4-0 Luis Suarez 4

2012

June 2 Venezuela H D 1-1 Forlan

June 10 Peru H W 4-2 Suarez, Pereira,

Rodriguez, Eguren

Sept 7 Colombia A L 4-0

Sept 11 Ecuador H D 1-1 Cavani

Oct 12 Argentina A L 3-0

Oct 16 Bolivia A L 4-1 Suarez

March 22 Paraguay H D 1-1 Suarez

Mar 26 Chile A L 2-0

June 11 Venezuela A W 1-0 Cavani

Sept 6 Peru A W 2-1 Suarez 2 (1 pen)

Sept 10 Colombia H W 2-0 Cavani, Stuani

Oct 11 Ecuador A L 1-0

Oct 15 Argentina H W 3-2 Rodriguez, Suarez

(pen), Cavani

Intercontinental playoff

Nov 13 Jordan A W 5-0 Pereira, Stuani

Lodeiro, Rodriguez, Cavani

Nov 20 Jordan H D 0-0

World Cup record:

Previous appearances: 11 (1930, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966,

1970, 1974, 1986, 1990, 2002, 2010)

Best performance: Winners 1930, 1950

Odds: William Hill odds to win World Cup (Nov 2013): 20-1

(Compiled by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires, Edited by Mitch

Phillips.)

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