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FIFA World Cup Qualifying Preview: Ecuador v Uruguay

By Football News



Edinson Cavani is among 11 Uruguay players who are one booking away from suspension ahead of their crucial fixture with Ecuador.

Oscar Tabarez's charges are locked in a tight battle in the South American FIFA World Cup qualification section, having finished fourth at the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

They currently hold fifth place with 22 points from 14 matches, while opponents Ecuador occupy the last automatic qualification spot but only lead Friday's visitors by virtue of goal difference.

A loss for Uruguay would leave their top-four hopes in jeopardy, with a showdown against Argentina awaiting them in their final match.

They will draw confidence from their double-header against Peru and Colombia in September, though, which crucially yielded six points.

But they will be mindful of the fact that a whole host of players in their squad face the possibility of missing the Argentina match if they pick up another caution.

The number would have been higher but Matias Aguirregaray was replaced by Gaston Silva after picking up a knee injury.

Paris Saint-Germain striker Cavani is joined by other experienced players Walter Gargano, Maxi Pereira and Gaston Ramirez in treading a fine line for the fixture in Quito.

Ahead of the match, striker Luis Suarez urged his team not to take their opponents lightly despite Uruguay having turned their qualification campaign around, with three straight victories.

"Playing in Quito is difficult and we are aware that they have a lot at stake," he said. "We cannot be complacent, we are realistic. We have been winning and doing things right, but we cannot rely on anything."

Ecuador have six victories to their name, but their hopes have been hit by their failure to win in their last four qualifiers.

Crucial to their hopes will be the form of Felipe Caicedo, who has six goals to his name in qualification so far.

Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia is also included in the squad, as is Jefferson Montero. 

And the Morelia winger is keen to make the most of home advantage.

He said: "There is no doubt that this is a game in which there is a lot of pressure, but there is pressure in every game.

"We have to take advantage of the home pitch."