Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Panama v Uruguay: Visitors without Suarez and Cavani

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Sep 2015

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Uruguay will have to do without Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani for their friendly against Panama.

Coach Oscar Tabarez has opted to leave his star strikers out of Friday’s fixture in Panama City as they are both suspended for the start of Uruguay’s World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins next month.

Cavani, who scored two goals in Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-0 win over Monaco on Sunday, will miss his nation’s next two competitive matches after being sent off during their bad-tempered Copa America quarter-final defeat to Chile.

Suarez, meanwhile, will not be available until Uruguay take on Brazil next March. The Barcelona forward is still serving a nine-match ban in competitive fixtures for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at last year’s World Cup.

The absence of both players offers the opportunity for others to stake their claim for a starting berth in the opening qualifier, away to Bolivia on October 4.

Uruguay struggled for goals during the Copa without Suarez, managing just three in the entire tournament as their title defence ended with a 1-0 loss to the eventual winners.

In-form Christian Stuani of Middlesbrough could get an opportunity up top. He has scored scored five goals for the Championship club since his arrival from Espanyol.

Panama, meanwhile, go into the game off the back of a successful Gold Cup campaign.

They triumphed in a penalty shoot-out against the United States to finish third, having lost in the semi-finals to eventual champions Mexico.

Their focus now is on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, and a clash with Uruguay – even minus two of their brightest stars – should be a good test.

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