Alvaro Gonzalez says Uruguay’s players are determined to make the most of their last chance to shine ahead of the Copa America when they take on Guatemala in Montevideo on Saturday.
Oscar Tabarez’s men play just one warm-up fixture ahead of the tournament in Chile, where they kick off their Group B campaign against Jamaica on June 13.
Uruguay head to the event as defending champions, having won their 15th title in 2011, and midfielder Gonzalez – who hopes to avoid a repeat of the opening-fixture defeat that hampered their World Cup campaign – predicts a strong showing against Guatemala.
“This is the only chance to impress before the tournament,” he said. “The coaching staff will draw conclusions from this fixture, so we must take it as an important match.
“We’ve all been looking forward to the Copa America after the World Cup.
“It’s nice to be able to defend our title and hopefully everything goes well.
“There are many other teams that are very good. We cannot contemplate losing our opening match again.”
Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera is in a similarly bullish mood ahead of the fixture.
“This group is going [to Chile] to defend the title, but all squads have very important players,” he remarked.
“More than anything, this will be a farewell party for the people. We will take it seriously.”
Oscar Tabarez appears unlikely to risk Nicolas Lodeiro after the Boca Juniors man picked up an ankle injury with his club.
The attacker returned to training this week and it is hoped he will be fit for the start of the Copa America.
For Guatemala, the fixture represents a chance to fine-tune their preparations ahead of World Cup qualifiers and the Gold Cup.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!