Before Spain and Brazil square off for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup title, Italy and Uruguay will put it all on the line one more time in Brazil for a shot at the third-place trophy.
The Azzurri and La Celeste suffered heartbreak losses in the round of four, with Italy losing in penalty kick fashion to Spain and Uruguay falling 2-1 at full time to the host nation.
As these two tweets from Football Italia suggest, neither manager is taking this match for granted, and each side has had significant success in this tournament so far:
Confederations Cup Third-Place Match
Who: Uruguay vs. Italy
When: Sunday, June 30, at noon ET
Where: Arena Fonte Nova; Salvador, Brazil
Referee: Djamel Haimoudi
Top Scorers at CC: Abel Hernandez, Uruguay (four); Mario Balotelli, Italy (two)
Head-to-Head: Spain leads 3-2-3 (eight matches in last 85 years)
Six different players have scored for Italy at this tournament, but the side's two best scorers will likely sit this one out. After a strained thigh sidelined Mario Balotelli in advance of the semifinals, Goal.com had this tweet with news on Andrea Pirlo and Andrea Barzagli's injury concerns:
With both players nursing minor health concerns with league play right around the corner, their absence will push manager Cesare Prandelli's men against a Uruguayan squad that is familiar with Italian football.
Andrea Pirlo & Andrea Barzagli have both been ruled out of Italy's clash with Uruguay on Sunday: http://t.co/YZhfv7KHMU— Goal.com (@goal_intl) June 29, 2013
As noted by BBC Sports in this match preview, eight of Uruguay's men play their club football in Italy. That acquaintance won't be a telling sign, but it will help Uruguay prepare for some of the athletes who play their football in the Italian leagues as well.
Injuries are going to be a big story.
According to FIFA.com, Italy will also be without Claudio Marchisio on Sunday, who is nursing a bruised leg. The attacking midfielder's absence leaves another gaping hole in the Italian attack.
Azzurri on Twitter added another injury casualty and then surmised a likely lineup for the match:
Add Giaccherini to list of players ruled out for tomorrow's match v Uruguay. Confirmed he'll have to sit out.— Azzurri (@ItalianNT) June 29, 2013
The most recent meeting between Italy and Uruguay came in 2011, when La Celeste took down the Azzurri by a 1-0 score. The majority of the core for both sides was in place at the time of the match, including the coaching staffs, Pirlo, Balotelli, Edinson Cavani and Gianluigi Buffon, but star striker Luis Suarez was not on the pitch for his home nation in Uruguay's loss.
Hypothetical for tomorrow: Buffon; Maggio, Astori/Chiellini, Bonucci, De Sciglio; Montolivo, Aquilani, De Rossi; Diamanti; Gila, El Shaarawy— Azzurri (@ItalianNT) June 29, 2013
Uruguay will have a small advantage in terms of time, as they've had a full extra day of rest after dancing with Brazil prior to Italy's tango with Spain in the semifinals.
One such man on the front line is Cavani, who has struggled to score goals for his side in international play. Per the BBC report above, he has just six in the last 28 outings.
Could that lack of production have anything to do with impending transfer rumors? Football Italia broached that topic:Cavani, Suarez and Diego Forlan are a formidable trio up front for Uruguay, but they'll have to contend with an Azzurri side that limited the best team in the world to zero goals in 120 minutes of action the last time out. Cavani could be key in bucking the scoreless streak against Italy.
On the other side, look for Stephan El Shaarawy to get every chance to prove he can be a contributor to Italy next summer as he takes over for Balotelli in the middle of the Azzurri attack. But nothing is certain for the Milan striker, as noted by Azzurri here:
The injuries might force Prandelli to use the full extent of his bench, and we could see that inexperience come out in the early stages against Uruguay, especially if something more than injuries is keeping players like El Shaarawy out of action.
Prandelli: "If El Shaarawy wants to be in the lineup he needs to give something more character-wise."— Azzurri (@ItalianNT) June 29, 2013
Prediction: Uruguay 3, Italy 1
Follow Bleacher Report FC Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.