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Could Luis Suarez be the World Cup golden boot dark horse?

| 11.06.2018

They may have failed to make it past the group-stages of the World Cup four years ago but Uruguay have re-invented themselves this time around.

They’re some familiar faces in defence with Martin Caceres, Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez all returning.

But it’s their midfield that has seen an overhaul. Stalwarts Walter Gargano, Egidio Arevalo Rios and Nicolas Lodeiro have all made way for the next generation.

A dynamic trio of the 22-year-old Lucas Torreira, Juventus’ Rodrigo Bentacur and Cruzeiro’s Giorgian De Arrascaeta have given Uruguay renewed vigour.

After the debacle in Brazil four years ago, this tournament can be the time they really make an impact.

The exciting midfield options may also give the attacking pivot of Edinson Cavani and notably Luis Suarez the opportunity to get amongst the goals.

Manager Oscar Tabarez has reverted to a conventional 4-4-2 formation in the lead up to the finals.

The retirement of Diego Forlan has helped his attacking conundrum as he can now play both Suarez and Cavani as out-and-out strikers.

The usual names headline the odds for top-scorer. Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar are 10/1 favourites. Meanwhile, Frenchman Antoine Griezmann is priced at 12/1 to claim the Golden Boot.

However, at an outside 25/1 Suarez may just have a fighter’s chance.

The rise of De Arrascaeta in 2017 has added that extra dimension to the Uruguayan’s attack, often playing in the number 10 role.

The link-up between him and Suarez could see the team turn heads this tournament.

They’re favourites to win their group which also features hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Their opening group match against Egypt may well be the trickiest of the three. However, if as expected Mohamed Salah doesn’t start the match then Uruguay could run up a score.

Salah is Egypt’s most pivotal player but without his cut and thrust up front then Uruguay could dominate.

Former Liverpool striker Suarez could very likely be at the top of the scoring charts when the Group stages come to a close.

Since 2002 when Ronaldo bagged eight for Brazil, the Golden Ball has been won with just five and six goals respectively.

Suarez has only notched five over two tournaments in 2010 and 2014.

But with a group that has no other team in the top 30 FIFA World rankings Suarez might just have the bite in attack that every underdog needs.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication



Charlie Dear

Charlie has covered sport for the likes of The Guardian, Football365 and FourFourTwo. Arsenal sufferer. German football enthusiast.