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Uruguay can cause shock; MARK LANGDON'S VERDICT.

URUGUAY have the forward firepower to cause the first shock of the 2010 World Cup when they face France this evening.

The front two of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez gives the South Americans a real chance at 14-5 with the deadly duo among the most feared men in football.

Forlan hardly needs any introduction. He was a flop at Manchester United, but has shown his true colours in La Liga where he has starred for Villarreal and, most recently, Atletico Madrid.

Only three players scored more goals in Conmebol qualifying than Forlan, who won the Europa League for Atletico this term with vital goals in the knockout stages of the competition.

Suarez is a little more raw but he still scored 35 goals in 33 matches for Ajax this term which is a brilliant tally even allowing for the fact Dutch football is known for being high-scoring.

The defence, led by Europeanbased duo Diego Lugano (Fenerbahce) and Diego Godin (Villarreal), is streetwise enough to shut out a French side who are lacking in confidence and full of internal strife.

France were abysmal in their last friendly, a 1-0 defeat to China. Of course, it was just a glorified practice match, but it was the same story throughout qualifying and the play-off.

Les Bleus lost 3-1 to Austria and only edged out Lithuania and Faroe Islands 1-0, while a home defeat to Ireland so nearly cost them a place in South Africa before Thierry Henry's handball.

Raymond Domenech's side clearly have the superior individual talent and if showing their best colours should win. However, it is hard to remember the last time Les Bleus put in any kind of decent performance.

Their midfield misses the legs of Lassana Diarra and there is an issue at centre-back where William Gallas and Eric Abidal have suffered disrupted domestic campaigns. If the duo are caught short they will be punished.

Recommendation Uruguay 1pt 14-5 Boylesports

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Franck Ribery is a danger going forward for France
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 11, 2010
Words:333
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