Uruguay go into a do-or-die clash against Venezuela in the Copa America Centenario on Thursday. Oscar Tabarez's side have to win their second Group C game of the competition by any means to keep hopes alive of making it to the knockout stages of the Copa America 2016.
One of the favourites to qualify from the group, Uruguay lost their first game of the competition against Mexico 3-1. At the moment, Mexico and Venezuela are the top two sides in the group and Uruguay are at the bottom. The game in Philadelphia on Thursday, therefore, is crucial for La Celeste for ways more than one.
The worrying and the most dampening news for the most successful Copa America team is the absence of star striker Luis Suarez. The Barcelona goal machine missed the first game of the competition this year as well as the entire previous edition of the Copa America last year and thus was itching to perform this time around.
However, the injuries have kept troubling him and according to Tabarez, Suarez could not play any single part in the competition even if Uruguay reach the knockout stages of Copa America 2016.
"Luis Suarez is still in recovery, it's the 17th day, and he is still not ready. That being the case, he will not play," the AFP quoted Tabarez as saying in the pre-match press conference. "He's an important player and this is an important competition but the most important thing for us are the qualifying games for the World Cup."
Venezuela, meanwhile, are coming into the game at the back of a 1-0 win over Jamaica. Ahead of the Uruguay clash, Venezuela coach Rafael Dudamel has mentioned that his side will put up a strong fight against their opponents on Thursday.
"If there is a team that knows how to respond from difficulties it's Uruguay, and that's something worth admiring," Dudamel told Goal. "Now, they're going to try and get up over us, and we intend to not let them do that."
Where to watch live
Copa America 2016: Uruguay vs Venezuela is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. ET (5 a.m. IST, 12:30 a.m. BST) start on June 9, 2016.
India: Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD.
United Kingdom: None.
United States of America: Fox Sports 1 USA, Fubo TV.
Uruguay: DirecTV Sports Uruguay.
Venezuela: DirecTV Sports Venezuela, Meridiano TV.
India: Sony Liv.
US: Fox Sports Go.
Uruguay, Venezuela: DirecTV Play Deportes.