The Colombia national football team travels to Montevideo on Tuesday night to play Uruguay in a South America qualifying match that could confirm their place at next year's World Cup. The Columbians are tied with Argentina at the top of the standings on 26 points, needing just one more to guarantee qualification. In South America, the top four teams qualify automatically while the fifth placed team takes part in a play-off against an Asian country. Uruguay are currently fifth in the table, two points behind Ecuador. With three games remaining, Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez has almost secured for the team fifth position, as sixth place Venezuela are three points behind having played one game extra. Uruguay will be hoping they can push for the automatic qualifying spot and a win against Columbia would help enormously. The game is likely to be keenly contested; Uruguay will be going for the win in order to catch Ecuador, while Columbia will be eager to secure qualification as soon as possible.
Both sides have been in good form recently. Columbia's last five games have yielded four wins and a respectable draw against Argentina. Their last match was a narrow 1-0 win against Ecuador - a result that helped maintain their strong position in the table. James Rodriguez grabbed the solitary goal in the 31st minute.
Likewise, Uruguay have lost only once in their last five games, not including a penalty shoot-out defeat against Italy in the Confederations Cup (the game ended 2-2 in regulation time). Their last match saw the return of Luis Suarez, who is suspended from club football due to a biting incident. Suarez was instrumental in the game. Not only did he score both goals, but he was also influential in getting Victor Jhosimar Yotun off the field and winning a penalty, both incidents prompting suggestions of simulation.
Suarez' display against Peru underlined the potential influence he can have on a game. He is the top scorer in the South America qualifiers with 11 goals. Columbia, however, have a star striker of their own in Radamel Falcao who has seven goals in qualifying so far. The battle between Suarez and Falcao will go a long way to determining the winner of the match.
Uruguay will be keen to avenge a comprehensive 4-0 defeat dished out by Columbia last September. Falcao scored once before Teofilo Gutiérrez added two more. Juan Camilo Zuniga capped off the win with an injury time goal.
Where to Watch
Kick-off is at 3:30 am IST (Wednesday, 11 September) and live coverage is available on Sony Six.