Uruguay's best player, Luis Suarez, will not be available for their Copa America 2016 opener against Mexico as the two teams are set for an important Group C encounter at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday. Both Uruguay and Mexico are expected to progress into the knockout rounds of the competition, but this match result could play an important role as to where they finish in the standings.
Though Uruguay may be missing the services of the Barcelona forward against Mexico, they have some quality players in their line-up, including Edinson Cavani and Able Hernandez. The duo needs to show some dazzling skills against the Mexico defence, which has been incredible of late. Scoring goals past Mexico is not going to be any easy proposition.
With the majority of spectators set to support Mexico, Uruguay may find the atmosphere difficult o handle. However, Uruguay defender Jose Maria Gimenez believes they are ready for it.
"The objective is always the same. We don't want to be favorites even for a moment. We're preparing for a Mexico home crowd at the stadium that will be rooting against us." mlssoccer.com quoted Gimenez as saying.
After sustaining an injury during the Copa del Rey, Suarez's participation in the group stages looked difficult, but the striker is improving rapidly, and may feature in their next game. Midfielder Egidio Arevalo Rios believes they can beat Mexico without Suarez as well.
"We knew from early on that we wouldn't have him," Rios said. "We're convinced still that even without him we will be capable."
Defeating Mexico is not going to be any easy as they are said to be the favourites to finish top of the group. Mexico come into this game with a 1-0 win under their belt in their last friendly against Copa America champions Chile.
It remains to be seen what kind of formation Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio will deploy against Uruguay. He has used various formations in the past, and striker Javier Hernandez will be their star man in the offensive front. Mexico could start with two strikers up front as well.
"When one plays a team with two strikers ... you try to create numerical advantage, but at the same time [playing three centre-backs] gives the team more possibility to play out from the back," ESPN quoted Osorio as saying.
Osorio has huge ambitions from Copa America 2016, as he wants Mexico to reach the final of the competition. However, first of all, their focus should be on the first game, and defeating Uruguay could help them gain immense confidence for their upcoming matches.
"Our objective is to reach the final because playing finals is very difficult and winning them is extremely difficult. If we aren't in the last four of the competition, I'll take it as a real blow. I'd be in debt not just with the Mexican people, but with this group of players and myself," Osorio said.
Copa America 2016 Group C match – Mexico vs Uruguay -- is scheduled for a 8 p.m. ET (1 a.m. BST, 5.30 a.m. IST) start. Here are the TV and live streaming options to watch the Copa America 2016 match.
India: TV: Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Live Streaming:Sony Liv.
USA: TV: Fox Sports 1. Live Streaming:FoxSoccer2Go.
Brazil: TV: SporTV.
South America/Latin America: TV: DirecTV. Live Streaming:DirecTV live.
UK: TV: Premier Sports. Live Streaming:Premier Player.
Mexico: TV: Univision, TDN, Azteca.
Australia, France and Spain: TV: Bein Sports (Spain also Canal + and Movistar Futbol). Live Streaming:Bein Sports Connect.
China and Hong Kong: TV: PPTV Sports and LeTV.
Singapore: Singtel. Live Streaming:Singtel Go.
Thailand: TrueSport 1.