International Friendly Preview: Austria v Uruguay
By Football News
Uruguay's experienced squad will be without a key figure for the trip to Austria on Wednesday after Edinson Cavani pulled out injured.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker is one of the South American nation's headline attractions, along with Liverpool forward Luis Suarez, but was forced to withdraw from the initial 23-man selection last week to continue his recovery from a thigh injury.
National team coach Oscar Tabarez will have been thrilled, however, by the 27-year-old's goalscoring return to domestic action off the bench in PSG's 2-0 win over Marseille on Sunday.
While a blow to preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Cavani's absence does not leave Uruguay desperately short of experience, with the remaining members of the squad holding an average of 51 caps.
Indeed, only four members of the squad have made less than 20 international appearances.
At 34, Diego Forlan is the oldest head in the Uruguay camp and will make his 108th outing for his country if utilised at the Worthersee Stadion.
Tabarez's men reached the World Cup with a 5-0 play-off victory over Jordan, but opponents Austria will not be heading to Brazil in June after finishing third in their European qualification group behind Germany and Sweden.
The hosts have a good record on home soil, losing just three of their last 13 international matches in front of their own fans, but Austria have not come up against South American opposition since suffering a 2-0 home defeat to Chile in 2007.
Despite 36 places separating the two sides in the world rankings, Austria defender Sebastian Prodl believes his team can prove to be a stern test for their more illustrious visitors.
"We take this test very seriously," said the Werder Bremen man.
"There is to be no easy task against number seven in the FIFA world rankings, but we do not need to hide.
"We want to present ourselves well in Klagenfurt, but our goal is to qualify for the European Championship finals in France."
In addition to Cavani, Uruguay will be without Martin Caceres, who suffered a head injury in a collision with Andrea Poli in Juventus' 2-0 win at Milan on Sunday, and Abel Hernandez (chest).