Game: Uruguay vs. Venezuela
Date: Thursday, June 9th
Time: 7:30 P.M. Eastern
Venue: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, PA)
Referees: Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG), Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Braiolvsky (ARG), Assistant Referee 2: Ariel Scime (ARG), Fourth Official: Roddy Zambrano (ECU), Reserve Assistant: Luis Vera (ECU)
Television: Fox Sports 1, UniMás, Univision Deportes Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go
How Uruguay will look: In their tournament-opening loss to Mexico, Uruguay decided to roll out a 4-2-3-1. Galatasaray 'keeper Fernando Muslera manned the goal, with José María Giménez and Diego Godín - both of Atlético Madrid - positioned in front of him. Stalwart Maxi Pereira lined up on the right side of defense, and Álvaro Pereira started at left back. Former Chicago Fire midfielder Arévalo Ríos partnered with Matías Vecino in the defensive midfield. Seattle Sounders target Nicolás Lodeiro served as the side's No. 10, with Diego Rolán and Carlos Sánchez taking up spots on the flank. Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani lead the line, acting as a lone forward.
With Vecino suspended for today's game, Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez may look to 31-year-old Álvaro González as a replacement.
Fortunately for Venezuela, and unfortunately for everyone who intends to watch this game, Luis Suárez has not been deemed fit to play. Tabárez has expressed his intentions to save the star striker for World Cup Qualifying.
With Suárez's status unchanged, it seems likely that Uruguay's formation will remain the same. If Tabárez would rather have a two-forward set-up, he can either push Rolán up or look to his bench, where he'll find strikers Abel Hernández and Cristhian Stuani.
How Venezuela will look: La Vinotinto came out in a 4-4-2 in their win against Jamaica, and they probably won't want to change anything as they look to secure passage to the knockout rounds. Expect to see Dani Hernández in goal, with Rolf Feltscher, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, Wilker Ángel, and Roberto Rosales forming his backline. Arquímedes Figuera will play next to captain Tomás Rincón in the center of midfield. Luis Manuel Seijas and Alejandro Guerra will likely man the wings, and Salomón Rondón and Josef Martínez will reprise their strike partnership from a few days ago. Martínez, the goalscorer on Sunday, will play off Rondón, who operates as a target forward.
Christian Santos, who was on the Union's leaked discovery list from April, was an unused substitute in Sunday's match. The soon-to-be-former N.E.C. striker will be out of contract in July, and he has reportedly been drawing interest from numerous La Liga clubs.
What to expect: Uruguay heads into the match as clear favorites, but if they fail to deliver on those expectations, they could be watching the rest of Copa América Centenario from home. A loss to Venezuela and a Mexican result later on tonight would bounce Tabárez's side before the final group-stage game is even played.
While an embarrassing elimination is a possibility, a team as talented as Uruguay shouldn't have much trouble with Venezuela. In Cavani and Godín, La Celeste has stars on opposite ends of the pitch, and they've surrounded them with experienced guys playing at top clubs.
Venezuela managed to hold off Jamaica over the weekend, but they'll have no such luck against the ninth-ranked team in the world tonight.