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Uruguay relishing play-off

La Celeste taking third-place battle seriously

Last Updated: 08/07/10 10:27pm

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Tabarez: Taking play-off seriously

Tabarez: Taking play-off seriously

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Oscar Tabarez insists Uruguay are ready to 'fight to the death' in their third place World Cup play-off against Germany.

The clash of the losing semi-finalists has over the years grown to be viewed by many as not much more than a glorified friendly between two sides deflated from missing out on the final.

But La Celeste boss Tabarez is adamant his team are taking the match very seriously.

Difficult

"This is a very difficult game," said Tabarez.

"Yes, fourth position is not the same as others, but we will go in with the same commitment and enthusiasm like we did in the encounter against Holland.

"We have no assurance that we will win, but we will prepare ourselves to fight to the death."

The South Americans lost out on a spot in the final when they went down to the Netherlands 3-2 on Tuesday.

Tabarez is expecting Germany, who fell to Spain in the semis, to approach Saturday's clash with all guns blazing.

"At the moment, Germany and Uruguay have both secured fourth place by reaching the semi-final," he said.

"But the challenge for Uruguay is to finish third in the World Cup.

"I know Germany and they will make it very difficult for us, so we must fight hard to win."

The coach is backing Spain to lift the trophy in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Defence

"For this kind of game, I think the defence will be a key element," he added.

"And I think Spain is a little better than Holland in this area and they are also very good with possession overall.

"They keep the ball very well. It's a prototype of the Barcelona team - the movement, the style - but this is not to say that Spain does not have its own personality.

"They play a really special brand of football and I think they can win."

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