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Jun 24, 2021 at 10pm UK

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Lampe (40' og.), Cavani (79')

Preview: Bolivia vs. Uruguay - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bolivia vs. Uruguay - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Copa America clash between Bolivia and Uruguay, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Uruguay and Bolivia do battle in Copa America action in Cuiaba on Thursday, as both sides look to bounce back from poor starts to the group stage.

Heavily-fancied Uruguay have collected just one point from their opening two games, having drawn to Chile last time out, while their opponents sit at the foot of the group after consecutive defeats.

Match preview

Bolivia come into this game with a desperate need for a result, having lost their opening two Copa America games.

Cesar Farias's men started with a 3-1 defeat to Paraguay, in a result which will be slightly disappointing considering how the game played out.

Despite their opponents dominating for the majority of the encounter, Bolivia took an early lead through an Erwin Saavedra penalty, and they held on until past the hour mark despite a red card shown on the stroke of half time to forward Jaume Cuellar.

Eventually, the 10 men were no longer able to withstand the pressure, as Alejandro Romero equalised in the 62nd minute and Angel Romero immediately put Paraguay in the lead before netting his second of the game shortly after, leaving Bolivia with a feeling of having dropped points from a winning position.

La Verde were then defeated by Chile, as they were unable to come back from Ben Brereton's early opener, with the game finishing 1-0.

With two games left to play, Farias's side now have the task of escaping the foot of the group, with four sides out of five making the quarter-finals, although they face two tough tests as they take on Uruguay and Argentina, meaning they will have to defy the odds if they are to take one of the qualification spots.

That said, Uruguay's form at the beginning of the tournament should not fill Bolivia with fear, considering La Celeste have just one point from their opening two matches.

Oscar Tabarez's men took on fellow group favourites Argentina in their first game, and narrowly lost 1-0 as Guido Rodriguez netted the only goal of the game early on.

They then faced another tough test against a Chile side who have enjoyed a strong start, and the sides would share the points in a 1-1 draw.

Eduardo Vargas gave Chile the lead in the first half, but Luis Suarez netted his nation's first goal of the tournament soon after the hour mark to draw level and earn a point for La Celeste.

Still heavily fancied to reach the final eight, Tabarez's men will hope to get their campaign going with a dominant victory, which would see their place in the quarter-finals confirmed with one group game left to play.

Bolivia Copa America form:
  • L
  • L

Bolivia form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L

Uruguay Copa America form:
  • L
  • D

Uruguay form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

Team News

Bolivia are expected to remain without talismanic forward Marcelo Moreno, who tested positive for coronavirus at the beginning of the tournament along with several others in the camp.

In his absence, Gilbert Alvarez has been the main man going forward to fairly limited success, with their only goal of the tournament so far coming from a penalty.

Jaume Cuellar will return from his suspension for Thursday's clash, though, and he should take his place back in the starting XI.

Despite losing both of their opening games, goalkeeper Carlos Lampe has put in two inspired performances to keep his side in the matches, and they will hope for more heroics for this clash.

The Uruguay line will be led by the potent pair of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, with the pair sitting first and second respectively in the nation's all-time scoring charts.

They could be supported by the attacking threat of the likes of Giorgian De Arrascaeta and Nicolas De la Cruz, given they will look to dominate against a somewhat weaker outfit.

Exciting Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde will also line up in the middle, having become an important player for both club and country at the age of 22, with 26 caps to his name.

Meanwhile, former Atletico Madrid pair Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez will partner up at the heart of the back four, having made 143 and 64 international appearances respectively, with Godin's 143 a record for his national team.

Bolivia possible starting lineup:
Lampe; Bejarano, Jusino, Quinteros, Fernandez; Arce, Vaca, Justiniano, Saavedra; Cuellar, Alvarez

Uruguay possible starting lineup:
Muslera; Gonzalez, Gimenez, Godin, Caceres; Vecino, Valverde; De Arrascaeta, De La Cruz; Cavani, Suarez

We say: Bolivia 0-2 Uruguay

Despite a disappointing start to the tournament, Uruguay should have more than enough to get past a struggling Bolivia side on Thursday.

This is a great opportunity for them to kickstart their tournament and book their place in the final eight, and they will aim to build confidence starting with a dominant performance in Cuiaba.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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