Uruguay faces Paraguay on Monday at the Olimpico Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro for the last round of group stage matches at Copa America. Both sides have already qualified to the knockout stage, but will fight to steal the Group A top spot from Argentina.
Paraguay currently boasts six points from their previous three matches, standing in second place. If they defeat Uruguay and Argentina loses to Bolivia, Paraguay could enter the next round as the unexpected champions of their group. The nation has shocked fans with their performances, especially in comparison to favorites like Uruguay and Chile.
La Celeste has disappointed fans thus far, sitting in fourth place with four points from the previous three matches. Uruguay has only won one match during their 2021 Copa America campaign, leading audiences to believe that despite their roster, Paraguay enters Monday’s match as favorites.
Here’s everything you need to know about the match…
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When is kick off? Monday 28 June, 8pm (ET), Tuesday 29 June, 1am (UK)
Where is the match being played? Olympic Stadium Nilton Santos, Rio de Janeiro
What TV channel is it on? Fox Sports 1, Univision (US), BBC Red Button (UK)
What live stream is it on? TUDN app, FuboTV, Fox Sports app (US), BBC iPlayer (UK)
Uruguay faces no fresh injury concerns heading into Monday’s match against Paraguay, though changes to the starting XI are expected after recent performances.
Given that Uruguay has officially qualified for the next round, head coach Oscar Tabarez might rest Edinson Cavani or veteran defender Diego Godin. Luis Suarez is expected to feature, however, hoping to increase numbers after a disappointing group stage. Joining Suarez at the top could be Nicolas De La Cruz, who attracted Tabarez’s attention last season while at River Plate.
Paraguay head into the game against Uruguay with no new reported injuries, but are expected to make changes to the starting 11 as well. It is anticipated that Angel Romero and Alejandro Romero will make appearances on the pitch, along with Fabian Balbuena. Given his performance against Chile, Miguel Almiron is also expected on the field, with a potential second half substitution to enter the knockout stage well rested.
Those on the bench might get a moment as Paraguay has also qualified for the next round of the 2021 Copa America, giving head coach Eduardo Berizzo certain creative freedom on Monday.
Uruguay: Muslera; Caceres, Gimenez, Coates, Gonzalez; Torreira, Bentancur, De La Cruz, Torres; Suarez, Gomez
Paraguay: Silva; Espinola, Balbuena, Alonso, Arzamendia; Villasanti, Lucena; Angel Romero, Almiron, Alejandro Romero; Gonzalez
There is a longstanding history between these two Conmebol nations. Uruguay currently holds the edge against Paraguay, winning 32 out of 75 overall matches, with Paraguay winning 25 times and drawing 19. Their most recent face off took place earlier this month during the World Cup qualifiers for Qatar 2022, ending in a goalless draw.
In Copa America, the nations have played against each other 26 times, with a record of 14 Uruguayan victories, 6 draws and 6 Paraguayan wins. They last matched during the 2015 edition of the tournament, ending in a 1-1 draw. Despite history, Paraguay is expected to win on Monday.
Given the history of these two nations, a draw can be expected. Their performances during the 2021 edition of the tournament suggests few goals, making a 1-1 most probable.
Though Uruguay contains power on the offense, Suarez and Cavani have failed to perform to standards thus far. Paraguay, on the other hand, stands in second place after strong and consistent matches. Paraguay’s roster might not contain the same firepower as Uruguay, but their midfield and defense have enabled a steady success for the nation.