With Brazil take on Chile and Colombia meeting Suarez-less Uruguay on Saturday, the knock-out stage is set to take off. In an exclusive chat with Rishabh Sharma of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung feels Brazil will see the game off against Chile. He also said that the suspension was a bit too much for Luis Suarez and it is a big loss for Uruguay.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Now with Luis Suarez gone, how much expectations do the fans have from Edinson Cavani?
Luis Suarez had made an impact after coming back for Uruguay against England. Whenever he isn`t there Uruguay have looked thin upfront. Therefore, the role of Edinson Cavani is hugely important as the Uruguayan fans expect a lot from him. Diego Forlan, who has been a hero for Uruguay will play a pivotal role too and it is time they shine.
Who will reign supreme between Uruguay and Colombia?
Uruguay are the underdogs. Colombia are going to make it very tough for Uruguay. Now that they don`t have Suarez, it makes the tie even tougher for them. The exit of the Liverpool striker could see Colombia win the tie and move into the quarter-final.
What do you think about the Brazil-Chile game?
Brazil are going to see this through. Chile have played well so far and had also beaten world champions Spain, which is big for them. But since Brazil are playing at home and with the fans behind them along with Neymar`s impressive performances so far, they shall beat Chile and go into the next round.
Who has been your favourite player in the tournament?
Colombia`s James Rodriguez. He has been superb and so far we have seen some very good performances by him. He will make the difference for Colombia against Uruguay. He not only scores goals but also makes key assists.
Suarez has got a warm reception back home, your thoughts on that?
Yes, he has been emphatic for Uruguay and it was good to see fans giving him a rapturous welcome. They had all come out in big numbers and supported him. It shows his stature there. He has somewhat been a hero and a villain for Uruguay. The Suspension has been a bit too much for him. It is a big loss for Uruguay.