Preview - Uruguay vs Portugal 01 July 18

Started by Harry85, Jun 30, 2018, 01:51 AM

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World Cup Last 16
Uruguay vs Portugal
Saturday, July 1st, 2018
03:00am, (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium: Fisht Olympic Stadium

Last five matches form: W W W W W
Average goals per match last ten: 1.60
Average goals against per match last ten: 0.40
Top Scorer: Luis Suárez (53)

Last five matches form: D W D W D
Average goals per match last ten: 1.60
Average goals against per match last ten: 1.10
Top Scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo (85)

The knockout round continues with the second of the last 16 games which sees European Champions Portugal butt heads with Uruguay.

These two sides are remarkably similar in their approach to the game, relying on a solid base and hoping for a bit of magic from their key players at the other end of the pitch. For Portugal its all about Cristiano Ronaldo, whilst Uruguay have one of the finest dual pronged attacks in the competition in the form of Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani.

Portugal were solid if not spectacular in qualifying - barring that sensational Ronaldo hattrick against Spain - narrowly seeing off Morocco before being pushed all the way by Iran.

Uruguay meanwhile seemed to be really warming to the task with easily their best display coming against Russia in their final group game.

We like Uruguay here. Óscar Tabárez's men may well have the best defence in this competition built on the rock-solid foundation of the Atletico Madrid duo of Diego Godin and José Giménez. Yet to concede a single goal in the tournament, they will have come up against Ronaldo on numerous occasions in La Liga, experience which can only help their cause.

Similar comments apply to Suarez and the Spanish defence, but the one fly in the ointment for Spain may well be Cavani. The PSG man has been excellent all season in Ligue 1 and has looked sharp in the tournament so far. In what will likely be a tight encounter we suspect he may be the man to make the difference.

Prediction: Uruguay 2 - 1 Portugal


Half time: 1 - 0
Full time: 2 - 1
Shots: 7 - 5
Shots on target:14 - 6
Corner Kicks: 2 - 10
Possession: 33% - 67%

Just the one yellow card in this one with Cristiano Ronaldo being booked for dissent as time ran down.

If there is a match which defines exactly what this current Uruguay side is all about then it surely this one. Tireless running and chasing from front to back, a resolute defence and magic from their two sensational strikers has been the methodology which has taken them to Russia in the first place, and it steered them into the quarter finals here.

It was a dream start for the South American side who took the lead after just eight minutes, Luis Suarez cutting in from the left and looking set to fire on goal. Instead the Barcelona man produced a wicked cross to find strike partner Edinson Cavani racing in at the back post. Excellent leap from Cavani, finding the top corner with what appeared to be face more than head.

Try as they might, Portugal found Uruguay just too organised in the first half and were unable to find a way through.

The European champions came out with notably more intent in the second half, with their increased tempo immediately causing problems.

In the 55th minute we were all square. Diego Godin finding himself up against both Ronaldo and Pepé as the ball came in from the left. He snuffed Ronaldo out, but not Pepé who powered an excellent header low and in.

Just as it looked as though Portugal were in the ascendancy, Uruguay struck on the counter. Rodrigo Bentancur breaking towards goal and finding Cavani in space towards the left edge of the 18-yard box. Devastating finish from Cavani to curl the ball first time into the bottom right corner. Keeper no chance.

From there Uruguay successfully shut up shop.

Ronaldo and Messi eliminated on the same day as Portugal join Argentina amongst the vanquished.

Uruguay move on to meet France in the quarter finals.

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