Suarez ruled out of the China Cup

The 2019 China Cup has rolled around again, and the highest profile player who would have been competing has been ruled out through injury. The competition will kick off tomorrow in Nanning and China will face Thailand, and Uruguay will play Uzbekistan with the winners playing the final. However, one big name will be sat at home with his gammy ankle and feet up watching it on the box. 

Injured ankle keeps Suarez at home

Uruguay will look to defend the China Cup against much weaker opposition than the 2018 edition of the China Cup where they faced the Czech Republic and Wales. They didn't play China because Wales hammered them, therefore China didn't proceed to the final.

Suarez one of the biggest names to be involved in the 2019 China Cup, and there will be a lot of fans disappointed in China about it. Even though Uruguay are a quality side, they're still missing a truly world famous player without being able to call up the Barcelona striker. That will be a huge blow for the organisers too, not just the fans.

China have picked easier sides this time 

Apart from Uruguay, (who China obviously invited back because the won it the last time) China have clearly decided to pick sides who they think they can be competitive against. Thailand and Uzbekistan will join Uruguay taking part in Nanning, and in comparison to the Czech Republic and Wales, it looks to me like China didn't want to get humiliated again in their own back yard.

In the 2018 edition, Wales beat China well 6-0 in the opening game, then the Czech Republic smashed them 4-1 in the 3/4 place playoff. I don't think China expected to lose that badly, and Marcello Lippi was exposed badly during this competition as not taking China as far forward as the CFA (Chinese Football Association) had seemingly believed he had.

Stagnation comes to mind, he seemed to have taken them as far as he could, and those games were the moment in time where the penny dropped that maybe he couldn't or was incapable of achieving more with China.

Uzbekistan and Thailand are good sides in Asia, make no doubt about that. Both of them did well at the recent Asian Cup, but only one side in the competition can talk about World Cup appearances and winning major competitions and neither of them are the Uzbeks or the Thais.

Meanwhile, China decided to play Thailand first, instead of Uruguay, ideally not giving themselves the hard game first. The attendances and the hype for the 2018 China Cup were huge, this time its sort of flew under the radar a bit, as the teams involved don't get so much attention outside of their own countries. And I include Uruguay in that because for being a successful side recently, people seem to not enjoy watching them all that much, maybe due to their defensive-minded tactics over the years.

Can China do better than last time out? They should do, and if they don't then clearly they're going to be struggling to reach the World Cup again.

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