What: Confederations Cup Third Place Play-Off
Who: Uruguay vs Italy
When: Sunday 30th June, 2013, at 17:00 UK Time
Where: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil

Good Campaign

They had their hearts set on the final, but bad luck was on Uruguay’s side as the Copa America champions settle for third place at best in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. Having missed out on the final as a late goal from Brazilian midfielder Paulinho ended their hopes, they have the chance to pick up the tournament’s bronze medal with a win over Italy, something that will not be easy given the way the Azzurri battled it out with Spain in their last match.

Oscar Tabarez’s side have put on a good showing in the tournament so far. Perhaps at another time their game against Italy would have been easier, but their opponents have won praise for the way they played against Spain, making their 4-0 defeat against the same opponents almost a year ago in the final of Euro 2012 a thing of the past.

And Uruguay striker Luis Suarez believes that his side will face the same good team in this match.

“Even if they do not have Balotelli, there are a lot of players of the same quality, like [Sebastian] Giovinco. Besides, Italy are always the same. They love to exploit the space left by opponents. If we do not play a great game, they can hurt us”, said the Liverpool striker.

Proud Nation

Italian football has suffered one dip after another since winning the 2006 World Cup in Germany. In recent years, the four-time world champions have failed to add to their haul of international titles, but if their display against Spain is to be taken into consideration, then there is hope for the Azzurri, who were denied a place in the final after failing to convert a spot-kick. Against a respectable adversary, they have the chance to carry on.

Despite being on the losing end, Cesare Prandelli believes that his side can draw many positives notes from their duel with La Roja, saying that his men matched Spain, even with the coach himself having pointed to the gulf in class between the two team before the duel took place.

“Tonight [Thursday] we've been up to the task, we've matched them stride for stride. We tried to play on the ground and we showed great courage and willingness. This match has been a great test for us, no doubt about that, and we passed it despite the result. We proved that we have the quality to battle it out with the best."

Recent form

Nigeria 1-2 Uruguay (20/06; Confederations Cup)
Uruguay 8-0 Tahiti (23/06; Confederations Cup)
Brazil 2-1 Uruguay (26/06; Confederations Cup)

Italy 4-3 Japan (19/06; Confederations Cup)
Italy 2-4 Brazil (22/06; Confederations Cup)
Spain 0-0 Italy [7-6 pens] (27/06; Confederations Cup)

Key absences

Uruguay: Diego Forlan

Italy: Andrea Pirlo (doubt)

Players to watch

Uruguay – Edinson Cavani: As news of a departure from club side Napoli continues to build, Cavani has not quite been as good as he can be in this tournament. A game against many of the men he faces in Serie A action could bring him the advantage of knowing his opponents well.

Italy – Daniele De Rossi: Another man whose name often headlines transfer talk is Roma vice-captain De Rossi. The midfielder has had many ups and downs in his career, but has displayed good form for the national team so far. He needs to command the midfield, especially if Pirlo misses out.

Match Preview

Both sides could have reached the final and many fans will be disappointed with this match being just a consolation. Uruguay have been dangerous in this tournament, but Italy surprised the entire world by lasting 120 minutes against Spain and appear to have found confidence after that match. Expect the Azzurri to win this one.

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