Uruguay shoots to rebound against Venezuela

Hungry Uruguay shoots to rebound vs. Venezuela

The beautiful game was uncharacteristically ugly for Uruguay over the weekend. As a result, the country faces a critical duel with Venezuela in tonight’s Copa America opener on the Group C side.

Needing a win to have any realistic chance of advancing to the second round, coach Oscar Tabarez’s team hits the pitch at 7:30 p.m. ET looking to erase the sting of a 3-1 defeat to Mexico. Diego Godin scored the lone goal for Uruguay in that affair. The fiery footballer hopes to get some vital offensive assistance from Luis Suarez this evening. Suarez (hamstring) last competed in May’s Copa del Rey final.

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Uruguay knows for certain, though, that Matias Vecino won’t factor into the equation. The midfielder received a red card in the Mexico contest, giving Venezuela yet another reason to feel energized. Rafael Dudamel’s squad upset Jamaica on Sunday. Forward Josef Martinez buried a shot past goalkeeper Andre Blake to bolster Venezuela’s prospects of reaching the quarterfinals.

First, though, the nation must keep up with a desperate Uruguay club. Regardless of whether Suarez suits up, Tabarez’s players will push the tempo and attack Venezuela’s defense. These two adversaries engaged in a 1-1 draw in their most recent meeting, but expect the crowd in Philadelphia to watch favored Uruguay run away with the match in a short while.

THURSDAY COPA AMERICA FREE PICK: URUGUAY/VENEZUELA OVER 2.5 GOALS

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