Uruguay v Germany preview
Both sides taking third-place clash seriously
Last Updated: July 11, 2010 10:44am
Klose: On goal trail
Germany and Uruguay have the chance to get rid of their World Cup disappointment when they contest the third-place play-off.
The two sides meet in Port Elizabeth on Saturday night, having both suffered defeats in the semi-finals earlier in the week.
Uruguay were beaten 3-2 by Holland while Germany were the unlucky losers against Spain - Carlos Puyol's bullet header dumping Joachim Low's men out after an excellent run.
Germany won the third-place play-off on home soil back in 2006 after a 3-1 victory over Portugal, but will have to get past a stubborn Uruguay outfit if they are going to achieve the same feat this time around.
The South Americans have been impressive in South Africa so far this summer and have emerged as the surprise package of the tournament.
After winning their group they beat South Korea in the second round before breaking African hearts to knock out Ghana in the quarter-finals on penalties.
Manager Oscar Tabarez insists his team are prepared to 'fight to the death' in their last game of the competition, denying claims the third-place play-off will not be taken seriously.
Germany, though, will not lie down without a fight and looked in scintillating form before that defeat to Spain.
Die Mannschaft hammered England 4-1 in the second round before dispatching of Argentina 4-0 in the quarters, making them formidable opponents on their day.
One player who will be desperate to get on the scoresheet is German striker Miroslav Klose, who is one goal away from equalling the all-time World Cup scoring record.
Another strike for the Bayern Munich man would see him go level with Ronaldo at the top of the chart, the Brazilian having netted 15 goals, overtaking fellow German Gerd Muller.
However, Klose is a doubt to face Uruguay after picking up a back problem and it remains to be seen if he makes the starting line-up.
Klose has netted four goals in the tournament so far, the same number as Uruguay striker Diego Forlan.
Both still have the chance to claim the Golden Boot award and are only one effort behind Spain forward David Villa and Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who play in the final on Sunday.
But like Klose, Forlan is an injury doubt after being substituted in the 84th minute of the Holland clash with a thigh problem.
He hopes to be fit for Saturday as he looks to finish with the victory that would better Uruguay's fourth-place finish in 1970, and give the country its best World Cup performance since its second title 60 years ago.
Meanwhile, the South Americans will be boosted by the return of Luis Suarez, who was suspended for the semi-final following his controversial handball on the line, which denied Ghana in the previous round.
Germany midfielder Thomas Muller is also set to return to the fold after suspension, while Joachim Low has minor doubts over Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil.