Striker Edinson Cavani will likely miss Uruguay’s World Cup quarter-final clash with France today, after sustaining a hamstring injury against Portugal. The 31-year-old has been a key figure for Uruguay in their journey to the last eight, scoring against Russia in the final group stage fixture, and netting a brace against Portugal last weekend.
Uruguay may have taken a couple of matches to find their feet at Russia 2018, but once the deadly combination of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani started to makes things tick on the pitch, it was suddenly apparent that Uruguay were a force to be reckoned with. Cavani, who was instrumental in Uruguay’s round of 16 victory over Portugal, has arguably been the deadlier of the two impressive frontmen, but having limped off the pitch after 74 minutes on Saturday, fans are beginning to suspect that his World Cup journey may have come to an abrupt end.
Heading into today’s quarter-final clash, Uruguay have been coy about Cavani’s chances of playing. The French players however, have made no bones about the fact that Cavani’s injury will be a huge blow for their South American opponents.
“Uruguay without Cavani is not the same thing. You don’t easily replace one of the best attackers in the world. It would be a handicap for them‚” said France midfielder Blaise Matuidi.
“But their way of playing and defending‚ won’t change too much I don’t reckon.”
“I do not know if they are bluffing (about the injury). That’s for the Uruguayans to worry about. But there are injuries that can be quickly healed and others for which there is no miracle cure.”
Defender Adil Rami has also opened up about the Cavani situation, giving a personal insight into the type of injury that is affecting the Uruguay striker.
“I had the same kind of injury and it took time,” said Rami. “I tried to defy medical science, and it wasn’t easy. So if he plays against us, he’ll have destroyed science, so stop making us believe that he’ll play against us.”
Both France and Uruguay will be more than aware that they have fallen on the unfavourable side of the draw. Whichever team manages to progress will then have to take on either Belgium or Brazil in the semi-finals, so expect plenty of drama from today’s fixture. We could have another Russia 2018 thriller on our hands.