Oscar Tabarez's side missed the opportunity to climb into the top four of the Conmebol section when they lost 1-0 to Ecuador last Friday, and that result means they head into Tuesday's game against the pool winners with only the faintest chance of automatic qualification.
Uruguay, who are already guaranteed to at least go into an intercontinental play-off by virtue of finishing fifth, must defeat Argentina convincingly while also hoping one of Chile and Ecuador - placed third and fourth respectively - win their meeting in Santiago handsomely.
The 2011 Copa America winners also had to rely on the play-off route to the 2010 finals, when they beat Costa Rica 2-1 over two legs.
Uruguay went on to reach the semi-finals in South Africa, and Tabarez has resigned himself to his side once again having to do things the hard way against Jordan, who beat Uzbekistan in their Asian play-off to reach the intercontinental stage.
"We've been putting information together because we recently saw that it was most probably we'd be going to Jordan," said the coach.
"There's nothing impossible in football, but also there aren't things which escape all logic."
Uruguay are sure to look to Luis Suarez for inspiration against their old rivals in Montevideo, with the Liverpool forward having scored 10 goals in qualifying so far.
That tally puts him joint top of the South American scoring charts with Argentina captain Lionel Messi, who will miss the clash due to a hamstring injury.
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain - who has been in superb form for Argentina throughout the campaign, scoring nine goals in 11 games - is also sidelined with a calf problem.
Midfielders Javier Mascherano and Fernando Gago are also both absent, with Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella likely to give some of his squad players an opportunity to impress after Friday's 3-1 victory over Peru.
Uruguay have no new injury worries ahead of the encounter, but 14 of their squad, including Edinson Cavani and Maxi Pereira, are walking a disciplinary tightrope with being just one booking away from missing their next competitive fixture - likely to be the first leg against Jordan - through suspension.
Tabarez's side will be confident of avoiding defeat at the Estadio Centenario, as they have not lost any of their seven home qualifiers during the campaign.
However, Argentina were the last team to beat them on their own patch in qualifying, as Mario Bolatti’s late goal was enough for a 1-0 success in October 2009.
|Coach: Ó. Tabárez|
for D. Pérez 46'
for C. Stuani 90'
|Bournemouth beaten by battling Cardiff|
|Immobile injury overshadows Sevilla win at Vicarage Road|
|Lambert at the double on West Brom bow|
|Real sign up Spain starlet Vallejo|
|Valencia blow for West Ham|
|Elche cleared to play in Segunda Division|
|Baker pens a new Villa deal|
|Lambert makes Albion switch|
|Gillingham and Scally found guilty of ´race victimisation´|
|Inter complete Jovetic signing|
|Arsenal v Chelsea: Mourinho cools Wenger rivalry ahead of Wembley meeting|
|Villa snap up Gestede|
|Villa land Veretout|
|Mourinho coy on fresh Stones bid|
|Aubameyang commits to Dortmund|
|Torres on the hunt for trophies with Atletico|
|Cazorla and Walcott sign new Arsenal deals|
|Quick start vital in Arsenal title bid - Wilshere|
|I have received no offers - Guardiola|
|Barcelona to monitor Turan injury|
|Zorc ´surprised´ by Grosskreutz-Tuchel row|
|Phil Neville could be England manager - Moyes|
|UEFA to investigate Shakhtar´s Fred selection|
|City loan Unal to Genk|
|China v South Korea: Stielike looking for new options|
|North Korea v Japan: Halilhodzic to unearth new faces|
|Drogba: I want to be ready, not a burden|
|Hamstrung Clasie in doubt for Southampton league opener|
|West Ham goalscorer Zarate bemoans Astra comeback|
|Negredo quashes Valencia exit rumours|
|´This is not my Sampdoria´ - president Ferrero|
|Criscito could join Inter - agent|
|CBF endorse Zico´s FIFA presidency campaign|
|Hawit to handle CONCACAF´s referee review|
|Falcao is a ´top, top player´ - Terry|
|Tuchel pleased by Dortmund fighting qualities|
|Premier League rules out schedule changes for Champions League clubs|
|UEFA Europa League Review: Southampton stroll as Sampdoria are humiliated|
|Koeman confident of Southampton progress|
|Bilic frustrated with Collins´ red card, Valencia injury|
|Bamford hits hat-trick in Bromley friendly|
|Southampton 3 Vitesse 0: Play-offs in sight for Koeman’s men|
|Wolfsberger 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Tuchel begins tenure with narrow win|
|West Ham 2 Astra 2: Collins red allows visitors back in|
|Kukesi - Legia match abandoned|
|Joining Roma an ´easy decision´ - Szczesny|
|Chiriches joins Napoli from Spurs|
|Mihajlovic pleased with Milan improvements|
|Injured Chiellini to miss Supercoppa|
|Newcastle complete Mbemba swoop|
|Blackpool protest incurs FA fine|
|Scottish Premiership Preview: Dons seek to run Celtic closer|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Lyon: Ibrahimovic ready for season opener|
|Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich: De Bruyne centre of attention|
|Real Madrid 0 Milan 0 (10-9 on pens): Real lift second International Champions Cup|
|De Bruyne a doubt for Supercup clash|
|Reine-Adelaide needs time to blossom, says Walcott|
|Rodgers will not rush Ibe development|
|Napoli not interested in selling Higuain - De Laurentiis|
|Wilson agrees Bournemouth extension|
|Messi makes early Barcelona return|
|Ibrahimovic: My next move will be a very big surprise|
|Van Aanholt backs Lens to shine|
|Besiktas complete loan move for Gomez|
|McClaren: No decision on Coloccini future|
|Kane, Kaka hail goalkeeper Rimando|
|Chung eager to become FIFA president|
|Yedlin open to loan move|
|Tigres not scared of River trip - Ferretti|
|MLS Preview: Wright-Phillips, Lampard set to debut|
|´A draw is good for us´ - River´s Gallardo confident of Libertadores success|
|Di Maria poised for PSG switch - Blanc|
|Franjic: Bring on Bangladesh, Tajikistan|
|Van Gaal bemoans De Gea situation|
|MLS All-Stars 2 Tottenham 1: Kane stunner can´t spare Spurs|
|Manchester United 0 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Van Gaal´s defensive frailties exposed|
|Tigres UANL 0 River Plate 0: Visitors lose Gallardo in Copa Libertadores final first leg|
|Penedo parts ways with Galaxy|
|Benitez backs Mihajlovic, Milan to succeed|
|Barnetta joins Union in MLS|
|Allegri critical of Morata´s attitude|
|Franjic targets more A-League glory with City|
|Beto undaunted by Super Cup clash against Barca|
|Advocaat upbeat despite another Sunderland flop|
|McClaren praises Newcastle recruit Mitrovic|
|Payet will improve West Ham - Bilic|
|Pulis confirms interest in Lambert|
|Deila expects tough test in Baku|
|Drogba mobbed by Montreal Impact fans|