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Uruguay vs Germany: Three reasons why Uruguay will win

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Fernando Vergara/AP Photo

(Read caption) Uruguay's soccer players Alvaro Pereira, left, Edison Cavani, second left, Edigio Arevalo Rios, center, and Andres Scotti, right, warm up during a training session in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Friday. Uruguay will face Germany on July 10 during the soccer World Cup.

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No matter how FIFA dresses it up, Saturday’s third-place World Cup play-off is football’s ultimate dead rubber match – the game no team or player ever wants to appear in.

But play Uruguay and Germany must, and here are the three reasons why Uruguay will win:

1. This game will mean more to to the small but proud nation of Uruguay. Memories of past World Cup glories (1930 and 1950) by Los Charrúas may only be dimly remembered by the wider world but Uruguayans are deeply proud of their status as two-time world champions. Recent decades have provided few opportunities to add to that incredible record for a nation of just over three million and while they fell short this year they know it might be some time again before they have a chance to prove themselves the third best soccer team in the world.

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2. The Netherlands scored three goals against Uruguay in the semi-final but they were playing against a depleted defense, missing its injured talisman Diego “The Sheriff” Lugano and the cunning of suspended Porto fullback Jorge Fucile. Had the team been able to call on their wonderfully committed approach – the essence of Uruguay’s “garra” warrior spirit – as well as their mastery of the sly arts of denying strikers shooting opportunities, that game would have been a lot closer. They will be out to prove against Germany what might have been.

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