Are Uruguay going to defend their way to World Cup glory?
Don’t put it past them.
The South Americans have pretty much mastered the art of World Cup defending, it’s their favourite thing to do.
Forget about the potent attacking frontline of Luiz Suarez and Edinson Cavani that has failed to punish the opposition so far.
What really makes this Uruguay team so good, and equally so difficult to beat, is their selfish, stingy and mean backline who would rather die than concede a goal.
Diego Godin is the weathered general marshalling his powerful central partner Jose Gimenez, flanked by the resilient, dogged Martin Caceres and the efficient Guillermo Varela.
It is an ugly beauty to behold.
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After 180 minutes of World Cup football the South Americans are yet to concede a goal and to be honest, they’ve hardly been troubled.
The Atletico Madrid pairing of Godin and Gimenez have been quietly laying down the bricks for a wall in front of Fernando Muslera’s goal and they will be applying the finishing touches as they prepare for the last-16.
Both defenders are brutes and take clearing crosses into the box as a matter of personal pride.
Their penchant for heading the ball is also useful at the other end of the field, with Gimenez scoring a last-minute winner against Egypt in the opening game.
Now you might not of thought of Caceres since his single league appearance for Southampton after a successful spell at Juventus, but he is far from past it.
The right-back does the exact job required of him for Uruguay.
Mainly be rock solid when defending and run and run and run down the flank in attack.
Varela, you know the one that spent four years at Man United, has been equally impressive down the left.
Learning the best b******* tactics from Godin and making himself a nuisance for anyone who comes down his lane.
Together they make a dense lump that repels goal threats.
A group for the real football purists.
Yes, Cavani and Suarez have been disappointing in attack.
Suarez got the winner today after a complete howler from the Saudi Arabia keeper, but on the whole they have wasted plenty of chances and don’t look the players we see on a weekly basis at club level.
And yes, Uruguay have only played a Mo Salah-less Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but you would not be suprised to see them blunt Russia’s goal machines and then bully their way to the final on a healthy diet of 1-0 wins.
There’s more than one way to win the World Cup, remember that.