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Could a Premier League reject end the French World Cup dream today?

Christian Stuani is set to deputise for the injured Edinson Cavani in the quarter-finals

The World Cup is regularly a sanctuary for players who find the Premier League a much tougher challenge.

This summer English football fans will have sat there, scratching their heads whilst watching the likes of Nordin Amrabat and Andreas Granqvist produce eye-catching displays.

And could the crunch time of the quarter-finals provide the platform for another Premier League flop to shine?


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Viva Uruguay

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Viva Uruguay

Uruguay’s march to the last eight has been built on an impregnable defensive unit and the genius of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in attack.

But two-goal hero Cavani limped off in the last 16 victory over Portugal and is a serious doubt against France.

Iconic or misinterpreted?

EPA
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Iconic or misinterpreted?

Will be sorely missed

AFP
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Will be sorely missed

That’s where Uruguay’s trick up their sleeve comes into play.

Whilst any side in the world would miss a player of Cavani’s calibre, Christian Stuani is a more than capable deputy.

Yes, that’s right, it is the same Stuani who rather failed to make an impression at Middlesbrough a couple of years ago.

A Boro reject

Getty Images - Getty
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A Boro reject

Two years on the Riverside saw him bag 16 goals including a pearler against Sunderland, although 11 of those strikes came during their season in the Championship.

But Stuani – much like Diego Forlan and many more before him – found life in La Liga much sweeter than the Premier League after his return last summer.

In fact, Stuani enjoyed life at Girona so much last season that only four players – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Iago Aspas – scored more La Liga goals than him.

Loving life in Spain

EPA
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Loving life in Spain

His 21 strikes in total was more than Antoine Griezmann and Gareth Bale managed and his brilliance was the main reason Girona clinched a top-half finish.

Stuani is the man likely to come in for Cavani against the French and will be hoping to complement Suarez in the same way as the PSG hitman.

Cavani will be sorely missed but if the French thought Uruguay would be toothless in attack in his absence, they’ve got another thing coming.

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