Luis Suarez fitness latest: Striker set to miss Uruguay v Costa Rica to keep alive dream of facing England

The Liverpool striker will continue his rehabilitation from knee surgery

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The Independent Football

Luis Suarez would not have got much sleep last night as the songs of the Uruguay fans who invaded the team hotel drifted upwards, but at least he can look forward to his dream of facing England in Sao Paulo.

Although the Liverpool striker returned to full training on Thursday, less than three weeks after a knee operation, it is unlikely he will be risked today against Costa Rica, the weakest team in Group D, but  his manager, Oscar Tabarez, is confident he will play some part against England next Thursday.

Uruguay’s leading daily El Pais, reprinted The Sun’s back page showing Suarez in balletic action on the training ground under the headline: “Oh No, Looks Like He’s Fit.”

However, with Edinson Cavani available and Diego Forlan having recovered from a stomach bug, Tabarez will be confident of overcoming Costa Rica without him. The songs of the 200 or so fans, who pushed into the foyer of the Marina Park on Fortaleza’s ostentatious waterfront, were all about how Uruguay would win the World Cup, as they did the last time it was staged in Brazil. They think they can crush Costa Rica and, frankly, they would be in trouble if they did not. The problem with whipping boys is they have to be whipped. If any of Group D’s big three, England, Italy or Uruguay, slip up against Costa Rica, it may kill their chances.


The Costa Rica defence looks threadbare. Having already lost left-back Bryan Oviedo of Everton, another full-back, Heiner Mora, who impressed in a 1-1 draw with Ireland, is now out  with a fractured foot. Coupled with the loss of leading striker Alvaro Saborio, it means manager Jorge Pinto’s squad lacks depth – although they will be more used to the heat and humidity than Uruguay.


“Everyone is talking of the other teams in the group,” said the Costa Rica captain, Bryan Ruiz, whose miserable season at Fulham finished with him on loan at PSV Eindhoven. “They look at us like we are here to be beaten. That’s fine. It takes the pressure off.”

Uruguay’s keeper Fernando Muslera was woken at 2am by a swarm of ants on his bed. He had even less sleep than Suarez.