South American heavyweight Uruguay take on Italy for the first time since the 2014 World Cup where the game was known for all the wrong reasons.
Luis Suarez had bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder, only to deny that he had fallen on the centre-back while chasing the ball.
Footage later showed that Suarez was guilty of committing the offence, and he was charged with a four-month ban across all competitions during the 2014/15 season. Uruguay and Italy have now clashed since the 1-0 victory on that day, but the nations will meet in an international friendly this weekend.
Surprisingly, both Suarez and Chiellini could miss the clash due to respective reasons, and the focus will be on the playing field rather than distractions between the two players. Suarez suffered a hamstring niggle prior to Barcelona’s Copa del Rey triumph over Alaves, and this has ruled him out for the international friendlies during the season break.
Meanwhile, Chiellini only recently completed the full 90 minutes for Juventus in the 4-1 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, and he could be offered a rest alongside partner Leonardo Bonucci with coachGian Piero Ventura likely to opt for an experimental squad.
Both Uruguay and Italy have shined in the previous editions of the World Cup finals with the Azzurri winning the showpiece event back in 2006 while Uruguay controversially reached the semi-final stage of the tournament four years later.
Italy are currently placed in their World Cup qualifier group behind Spain, and they may have to contend with the playoffs unless they bag a surprise win over the former champions. Meanwhile, Uruguay are not fully assured of automatic qualification with just two points separating them from Argentina, who are occupying the inter-confederation playoff. The likes of Luis Suarez and Cavani will be key towards Uruguay’s World Cup hopes when they restart their campaign next season.