Colombia and Uruguay meet tonight in the second round of 16 match in this World Cup, and both teams will be without their biggest star. Colombia's Radamel Falcao didn't even travel to the tournament as he didn't recover from an injury sustained earlier this year, and Urugay's Luis Suarez is banned for 9 matches and 4 months for biting the opponent. Again.
Uruguay might have a very difficult time playing without Suarez, as was evident in the first match in this tournament when Uruguay lost to Costa Rica 1-3 and Suarez didn't play as he was recovering from an injury. Against England he was at his best and scored both Uruguay's goals for the 2-1 victory. Since he's by far the best player in Uruguay, it will be very difficult for them to do something in offense without him. The other solid players such as Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan and Maxi Rodriguez don't have what it takes to shine on the world stage.
Uruguay are a defensive side - seven players defend and their only role is to win the ball and deliver it to the offensive trio so they can do something in offense completely unassisted by the others. Again, Luis Suarez was the key man in this concept and without him Uruguay are nothing more than an average side.
Colombia, on the other hand, already proved they can pkay withouzt Falcao. Teofilo Gutierrez readily accepted Falcao's absence and turned it in his favor as he's the offensive star now and gets all the glory. James Rodriguez is actually the key player of this side, he's a fantastic young player and was the main ingredient of their victories so far. Fredy Guarin, of whom a lot was expected, failed to perform so far.
In any case, the energetic Colombian team are the favorites in this duel and Uruguay are unlikely to cover up for the absence of Suarez.
The teams have, of course, met in Southern American qualifications, and Colombia won 4-0 at home but Uruguay returned the favor by winning 2-0 on home soil.