Argentina vs. Uruguay: Complete Preview for 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
"Is this a revenge match for us? Of course!"
Those were the words of Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero when asked about La Albiceleste's upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against the reigning South American Copa America champions on October 12.
The last time Argentina met Uruguay it was a cold, dark moment where they watched Luis Suarez & Co. celebrate on their home turf before going on to win the Copa America in summer 2011.
That win was only Uruguay's second in 14 chances against their neighbors.
Romero made it clear that the match has not been forgotten by him or his teammates and sees Friday's World Cup qualifying match as a chance to get a little payback.
The match will see Lionel Messi lead his team against the best team in South America; a team that fields one of the best attacking units in the region.
The 25-year-old captain is often criticized for not reaching the same heights for country that he does with Barcelona. However, the reigning Ballon d'Or winner plays a very different role for the national team.
On Barcelona he plays as a false nine who is the center of the attack and the focal point of the entire team.
When playing for Argentina, Messi is used in a much deeper, more instrumental role that sees him directing and creating attacks while taking a smaller role in scoring.
While the goals are fewer for his country, the playmaker is still just as important to the team's success as he is in Spain.
Can Uruguay's attack be stopped?
While Argentina have a stronger attack and probably a stronger midfield than Uruguay, they are much weaker in defense.
In fact, La Albiceleste have just one clean sheet in their last 14 matches. This fact was not lost on Luis Suarez.
"We must use their defensive weaknesses," he said to FIFA.com.
"We realise that we cannot make mistakes at the back because they will not show us mercy. But we have the potential up front to hurt them."
What's your prediction?
Argentina have won three of their last four World Cup qualifiers by a combined score of 9-1, but Uruguay will be their biggest test yet.
La Celeste have been less impressive in qualifying but still pose a huge threat to Argentina with an attacking trio of Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan.
Uruguay currently lie fourth in their qualifying group, two points behind leaders Argentina, so this game could swing the outcome of the group in their favor.
Javier Mascherano sees it as a potential classic between two giants of football.
"[Uruguay] reached the semi-final of the World Cup and won the Copa America. The matches are always hotly contested with them. It will be a classic and a very difficult match."
The match will take place on October 12, 2012 at 8 p.m. EST at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, Argentina.
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