Injuries disrupt Brazil and Uruguay quarter-final preparations
Brazil and Uruguay have both been hit by injuries to key first team players ahead of their quarter-final fixtures on Friday.
Brazil midfielder Elano has been ruled out of their match with Holland (which Brazil are 5/6 to win), and could miss the rest of the World Cup with an ankle injury.
The former Manchester City playmaker sustained the injury during Brazil’s 3-1 win against Ivory Coast but he has been unable to regain his fitness in time for the last eight fixture.
Having scored two goals in South Africa, Elano is a focal part of the Brazilian midfield, and his absence will be a blow to Dunga’s side, who are 2/5 to qualify for the semi-finals.
Dani Alves is expected to deputise for Elano in midfield again, and the Barcelona player is 7/1 to score at any time against the Dutch.
Uruguay, meanwhile, will have to face Ghana (who they are evens to beat) without their influential centre-back Diego Godin, who injured his thigh during Uruguay’s second round 2-1 win over South Korea.
Godin will be ably replaced by Mauricio Victorino, who came on for Godin against South Korea. Uruguay are evens to keep a clean sheet against Ghana.
Victorino for Godin will be the only change in personnel for Uruguay when they face Ghana, as Oscar Tabarez took the unusual step of naming his side early for the quarter-final at a press conference on Wednesday.
The team, as expected, is: Fernando Muslera, Diego Lugano, Mauricio Victorino, Jorge Fucile, Maximiliano Pereira, Diego Perez, Egidio Arevalo, Edinson Cavani, Alvaro Fernandez, Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan.
How seriously will Godin’s absence hinder Uruguay? Ghana are 16/5 to beat them inside 90 minutes. See the full Uruguay vs Ghana market.