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Brazil v Uruguay: Hosts out to spoil Suarez return

Luis Suarez makes his return to international football on Friday when he and his Uruguay team-mates travel to Recife for their World Cup qualifier against Brazil, with the hosts looking to spoil the party.

Suarez has not played a competitive game for Uruguay since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after he was found guilty of biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini. 

The 29-year-old was handed a nine-match international suspension, as well as a four-month ban from any football-related activity for his actions.

But as the Barcelona star prepares to step back into the fold and aid Uruguay’s CONMEBOL qualifying bid, Brazil goalkeeper Alisson insists he and his defensive compatriots are looking forward to the challenge. 

“For a goalkeeper, it is always important to have a big challenge ahead,” the 23-year-old said. 

“In quieter games, you just hope to get on the ball more, to be able to show your work. 

“But Suarez is a great player, and we have a big task ahead of us. 

“It will be a great challenge for me and my defensive team-mates.” 

Suarez has helped back to the top of La Liga, into the Copa del Rey final and through to the last eight of the Champions League, contributing 37 goals across those competitions this season.

However, while Uruguay have been able to welcome back their all-time leading goalscorer, Oscar Washington Tabarez will be without key defensive players Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez (both thigh), while Maxi Pereira is suspended.

Tabarez called up Nacional defender Mauricio Victorino for the first time since 2012 to reinforce the defence and the 33-year-old is hoping Uruguay can stop Brazil by frustrating the supporters in the stands. 

“I hope that will be an open match,” he said. “Our characteristics allow us to stay solid as we always do.

“As the time goes by, the Brazilian fans tend to get desperate if they see that their team is not generating good plays, so they may pass on this onto their players, and we have to take the most of this and the most of the spaces.”

Uruguay are second in the 10-team qualifying group after winning three of their opening four games, with Brazil two points behind in third place.

The last meeting between the teams came at the Confederations Cup semi-finals in June 2013, when Brazil ran out 2-1 winners courtesy of Paulinho’s late goal.

Uruguay host Peru next week, while Brazil travel to Paraguay. 

Wed 23 Mar, 2016
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