Football - Uruguay name settled 23-man squad for Austria friendly

Uruguay coach Oscar Washington Tabarez has given a big hint about the make up of his World Cup squad with the 23 players he has picked for next month's friendly against Austria.


Tabarez named 16 of the squad that reached the 2010 semi-finals in South Africa with the other seven players included on Wednesday the most likely to complete his Brazil roster.

The consistency of the bulk of his squad through the last four years, including victory in the 2011 Copa America in Argentina, means the uncertainties surround newcomers such as third-choice central defender Jose Maria Gimenez of Atletico Madrid and reserve midfielder Gaston Ramirez of Southampton.

Ramirez will, however, have to prove his fitness having come back last week from the ankle injury he suffered playing for the Saints at Sunderland in the English Premier League last month.

First-choice midfielder Cristian Gonzalez only missed out on the 2010 finals because Tabarez decided he could not afford to take a player to South Africa who still had to serve two matches of a four-match suspension picked up in the qualifiers.

Diego Forlan, the best player overall at the 2010 finals, has moved from Brazil's Internacional to Cerezo Osaka of Japan since Uruguay secured a place in Brazil by winning an intercontinental playoff against Jordan in November.

Uruguay meet Austria in Klagenfurt on March 5. They have also arranged warm-ups for the June 12-July 13 World Cup at home to Northern Ireland on May 30 and Slovenia on June 4.

The twice World Cup winners are in Group D with Italy, England and Costa Rica.

Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Olimpia), Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad)

Defenders: Alejandro Silva (Olimpia), Maxi Pereira (Benfica), Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion), Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Jorge Fucile (Porto)

Midfielders: Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio), Alvaro Pereira (Inter Milan), Walter Gargano (Parma), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Morelia), Diego Perez (Bologna), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo)

Forwards: Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Edinson Cavani (Paris St Germain), Abel Hernandez (Palermo), Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka), Christian Stuani (Espanyol)

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