Uruguay vs Panama predicted XIs: Confirmed team news and probable line-ups

Uruguay vs Panama predicted XIs: Confirmed team news and probable line-ups

The Hard Rock Stadium in Miami will be the scene in the early hours of Monday as Uruguay and Panama begin their respective Copa America journeys.

They’ll follow group comrades the USA and Bolivia into action, with those sides set to clash in Arlington, Texas a few hours earlier.

This is only the second time the tournament in its 108-year history has taken place outside of South America and Uruguay went into the tournament as third-favourites to win, behind defending champions Argentina and Brazil.

This clash in Florida is set to kick off at 2am (UK time) on Monday morning and Uruguay will be confident after completing their warm-up with a 4-0 win over Mexico.

Panama, rank outsiders in the Group C betting, were defeated 1-0 by Paraguay in their final outing before the 2024 Copa America and will now attempt to stifle the big guns of La Celeste.

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Uruguay eye bright start

Having been paired with hosts the United States in Group C, Uruguay will be fully aware this section will generate lots of column inches.

The 15-time Copa America kings haven’t tasted success since 2011 but are being touted as solid contenders this time.

Former Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has taken charge of La Celeste, promising to oversee a changing of the guard.

The likes of Edinson Cavani are no more, with Luis Suarez now the elder statesman at 37, the talented frontman still with a key role to play.

With Bolivia and the USA to come, this is a perfect opportunity for Uruguay to start well. They’ve only met Panama on three occasions, winning each of them, most recently a 3-0 friendly success in 2019.

Panama need to step up

For Panama, this tournament opener is going to represent a rise in class. Their current CONCACAF World Cup qualification campaign has started well with wins over Guyana and Montserrat this month already.

They did so whilst scoring five goals and conceding just one. Ranked 41st in the world when the draw was made, Panama have defeated teams that were ranked 157th and 176th at that December 2023 juncture.

To give an idea of the rise in class required now, they meet a Uruguayan outfit that rose as high as 14th in the latest released rankings.

Panama are managed by Danish-born Thomas Christiansen, who had a brief eight-month stint as Leeds boss in 2017/18. He’s been in his current post since the summer of 2020 and boasts an impressive 49 per-cent winning percentage.

Uruguay vs Panama team news

While he’s proclaimed a desire to change the Uruguayan guard, Bielsa is not short on experience.

Suarez has made 138 appearances, second on all-time list for the national team, while Rodrigo Bentancur can reach 60 on Sunday and captain Jose Gimenez is on 84.

Striker Darwin Nunez bagged a hat-trick in the preparatory friendly win over Mexico and will be eyeing a start. Bielsa’s side are defensively sound, too, with Sergio Rochet keeping clean sheets in his last four games for La Celeste.

Panama have suffered a blow as 34-year-old captain Anibal Godoy was ruled out of this competition with a thigh problem at the 11th hour.

Experienced trio Jose Fajardo, Jose Luis Rodriguez and Eric Davis are sure to be leaned on, while Adalberto Carrasquilla may deputise in midfield with Godoy missing. Fajardo and Cecilio Waterman are both into double figures in goals for Panama.

Uruguay vs Panama predicted line-ups

Uruguay (4-2-3-1): Rochet; Nandez, Gimenez, Araujo, Olivera; Bentancur, Valverde; Pellistri, Rodriguez, De Arrascaeta; Nunez

Panama (3-4-2-1) Mejia; I. Anderson, Cordoba, Miller; Murillo, Martinez, Carrasquilla, Davis; Barcenas, Diaz; Fajardo

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