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Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Monday, 5 July 2010 12:39 UK

World Cup 2010: Uruguay make plans to stop Robben

Venue: Cape Town Stadium Date: Tuesday, 6 July Kick-off: 1930 BST Coverage: Live on ITV1 and BBC Radio 5 live | Highlights on BBC2 (2320 BST) and BBC red button. Plus listen live, follow live text commentary and watch match highlights at full-time (UK only) on this website.

Your World Cup semi-finalists

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has drawn up a plan to stop Netherlands forward Arjen Robben in their World Cup semi-final in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Sebastian Abreu, hero of the shoot-out win over Ghana, said: "Tabarez has been talking to us about Robben and how to stop a player like him.

"But it's always different when you are on the field.

"So we know how to do it but whether the actual execution actually comes off is another thing."

A hamstring injury meant Bayern Munich winger Robben did not start a game for the Dutch at the tournament in South Africa until the second round win over Slovakia.

Abreu penalty sends Uruguay into semis

However, he is expected to be the key man as Bert van Marwijk's side look to achieve a first World Cup triumph for the Netherlands.

Botafogo striker Abreu has been a crucial factor for the South Americans, having scored the goal that sealed Uruguay's qualification for the finals.

He then audaciously chipped the crucial penalty straight down the centre to hand them a 4-2 win in their quarter-final shoot-out against Ghana.

It gave Uruguay their first semi-final place since 1970 but the towering striker said their experienced coach is making sure they do not rest on their laurels.


"Tabarez has asked us to concentrate fully, not just in the matches, but also in training," added Abreu. "He is very satisfied with our work.

"Looking at the Dutch, we have watched a lot of videos on their team because we don't know too much about them.

"The Netherlands and Uruguay play very similar football but they have very good potential in their attack, with very clever players like [Wesley] Sneijder and Robben."

Uruguay has a proud World Cup history, having been the first hosts and twice winning the competition - one of only five countries with multiple victories.

But since finishing fourth in 1970, Uruguay have failed to go past the second round stage in four World Cup finals appearances.

Of the four sides left in the competition, they are considered to be the outsiders but Tabarez is daring to dream about returning home as world champions.

"We are among the four best teams at this World Cup," he stated. "This is something we would never have imagined before coming to South Africa.

Robben opens the scoring against Slovakia

"I don't know what would happen if we were to achieve what that team achieved back in 1950 [when they beat Brazil in the final]. We still hold those champions as idols."

To do so Uruguay will have to get past a Dutch side criticised for an unambitious style of play but who had a perfect record in their eight World Cup qualifying games and have continued that run by winning all five matches in South Africa.

Uruguay will also have to do so without striker Luis Suarez , who has spent the last three years terrorising Dutch domestic defences with Ajax but is banned for the semi-final - as is defender Jorge Fucile.

On the bright side, defender Diego Godin, who missed the match against Ghana with a thigh injury, should be available.

In Suarez's absence, Diego Forlan , who hit the equaliser against Ghana for his third goal of the tournament, will shoulder much of his nation's weighty expectations.


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Second round


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see also
Dutch hopes are in their own hands
05 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Dutch warned against complacency
05 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Slovakia coach in awe of Robben
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Tabarez hails mature performance
26 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Forlan delighted by Uruguay win
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Uruguay performance analysis
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Uruguay
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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