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Argentina vs. Uruguay: Players Under Most Pressure in Final World Cup Qualifier

ROME, ITALY - AUGUST 14:  Ever Banega (centre L) of Argentina celebrates with team-mates Angel Di Maria (centre R), Lucas Biglia (L) and Gonzalo Higuain after scoring the second team's goal during the international friendly match between Italy v Argentina at Stadio Olimpico on August 14, 2013 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 8, 2016

Argentina travel to Uruguay for a World Cup qualifying match where the pressure is completely on the host team to win. However, there are a number of players who need solid individual performances in this match as well.

While Argentina have already clinched a spot in next summer's tournament, Uruguay will need a sizeable win and some help in order to advance. However, it is still possible if Ecuador and Chile do not draw.

Otherwise, the squad will have to face Jordan in a two-legged playoff.

Either way, you can be certain that Uruguay will provide a full effort in order to give themselves a chance at a win. This puts the pressure on a few key players on each side.

These men will truly look to have a good showing in the upcoming battle.

 

Luis Suarez, Uruguay

RIFU, JAPAN - AUGUST 14:  Makoto Hasebe (L) of Japan and Luis Suarez (R) of Uruguay fight for the ball during the international friendly match between Japan and Uruguay at Miyagi Stadium on August 14, 2013 in Rifu, Miyagi, Japan.  (Photo by Atsushi Tomura
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

For better or worse, Luis Suarez has become the face of football in Uruguay as the team's most talented player. As one of the top scores in the English Premier League, he has the skill to beat almost anyone one-on-one and score on his own.

This has helped him score 10 goals in this round of qualifying, which ties Lionel Messi for the most in the region. 

However, Suarez was unable to get onto the scoresheet in a 1-0 loss to Ecuador in the last match, which put the squad in a desperate situation going forward. Another shutout could end up being devastating for this talented team.

The forward sees himself as one of the top goalscorers in the world, but it is hard to make that claim without reaching the sport's highest stage. He needs to do whatever it takes to get his squad into the World Cup.

 

Erik Lamela, Argentina

ROME, ITALY - AUGUST 14:  Erik Lamela of Argentina in action during the international friendly match between Italy v Argentina at Stadio Olimpico on August 14, 2013 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Argentina will be playing incredibly shorthanded in the upcoming match against Uruguay, especially on the attack. Not only will Messi and Gonzalo Higuain be out with injuries, but Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria will also be rested, according to ESPN.

This will provide an opportunity for Erik Lamela to finally get on the pitch for his national team and try to show what he can do.

The 21-year-old midfielder scored 15 goals in Serie A last season with AS Roma and has since transferred to Tottenham Hotspur of the EPL. While he is still getting acclimatised with his new surroundings, he still has displayed his great vision on the attack to create opportunities for others.

On an Argentina squad with plenty of elite finishers, Lamela's skillset as a creator could be quite useful.

He has to prove he can handle the pressure in this match in order to secure a spot on the World Cup roster.

 

Edinson Cavani, Uruguay

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 30:  Edinson Cavani of Uruguay scores his team's second goal to make the score 2-2 during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 3rd Place match between Uruguay and Italy at Estadio Octavio Mangabeira (Arena Fonte Nova Salvador) o
Clive Mason/Getty Images

During the club season, Edinson Cavani has proven that he is among the best forwards in the world. After scoring 29 goals for Napoli last season, he transferred to PSG for a French record of €60 million.

Unfortunately, he has not been much help for Uruguay, scoring only four goals in 13 appearances during World Cup qualifying. He is often involved in the action, but he has not done a good job of getting the ball in the net.

For someone who displays such a nice scoring touch during the season, this is unacceptable.

Against Argentina, and possibly against Jordan, Uruguay will need their best players to perform at the peak of their ability. Cavani has not been doing that so far, and he must find a way to help his side.

 

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