Today’s Predictions: Portugal Vs Uruguay
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The second round of 16 match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place between Euro 2016 Winners Portugal and South America hotshots Uruguay.
- Date : 30th June 2018
- Time 11:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Sochi Stadium.
Another mouthwatering knockout clash sees Luis Suarez going head to head against Cristiano Ronaldo, as Portugal narrowly missed out on top spot in their group, having scored one goal less than Spain.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
Portugal actually suffered a huge setback when they lost to Switzerland in their opening game of the UEFA Qualification round. However, the return of Cristiano Ronaldo from injury coincided with an amazing winning run as the team won all their remaining matches, and scored 32 goals while conceding only 2 in those 9 games. Their forwards Ronaldo and Andre Silva scored a staggering 24 goals among them.
Uruguay’s sharpshooter Edinson Cavani was on fire during the CONMEBOL qualifiers, as he was the highest scorer in South America. However, despite an impressive start containing a huge 3-0 win against Chile, their campaign was in danger with 3 defeats in a row, before a formation change and the return of Luis Suarez from injury ensured they qualified comfortably in the end, finishing second behind Brazil.
Portugal hasn’t won their last 3 matches in a row, including a damaging 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands back in March. Their only wins in their last 6 matches came against comparative minnows Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Their forwards were prolific during the qualifiers but things have calmed down in attack of late.
Uruguay have been in decent form in recent times. With 3 wins and 2 draws in their last 6 matches, the South Americans look to be in good shape heading in to this tournament. The team seems to have regrouped at the right time and would be hoping for a good showing in Russia. They managed a last gasp winner against Egypt to give them a vital opening game victory. While another narrow win against Saudi Arabia ensured they qualify.
Portugal and Uruguay in the World Cup So Far
Portugal opened their World Cup campaign with probably the match of the tournament against Spain. As Diego Costa and Cristiano Ronaldo battled each other for supremacy, the match ended 3-3 with some beautiful goals scored by players of both these nations. Despite Spain starting much better, Portugal proved they are more than capable of cutting it with the very top teams in this tournament, and as long as Cristiano Ronaldo is in this form they do not need to worry about any other team. They won their second game 1-0 against Morocco, tying them with Spain on goal difference. However, their last game was full of drama, as they conceded a late late equalizer to Iran, who were just inches away from scoring another goal which would have knocked the Europeans out.
Uruguay were handed a comparatively easy opening fixture against an Egyptian side badly missing their talisman Mohamed Salah. Egypt posted little or no threat in their opening game but Uruguay kept missing easy chances till the end of the game. However, just when it seemed like Egypt had managed to keep Uruguay at bay, they popped up with a set piece header right at the death to win the game, and gain 3 priceless points to keep the pressure on Russia. Similarly, Uruguay missed plenty of chances in their second game against Saudi Arabia. However, a Luis Suarez winner was enough to give them a very narrow victory again. In their 3rd game, Uruguay dismantled a high flying Russian side with a brilliant performance, and ended the group stage without conceding a single goal.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have never met before.
Portugal have also surprisingly dropped experienced campaigner Luis Nani, along with Barcelona duo Andre Gomes and Nelson Semedo, much to the shock of thousands of fans. Joao Cancelo and Ruben Neves are other high profile players who missed the flight to Russia. Even Eder, the player who scored the decisive goal at the 2016 Euro Final, was not selected.
Uruguay do not have any significant injuries as such, and will be hoping to keep Diego Godin and Luis Suarez fit for the entire campaign. However, they may need to shuffle their midfielders after an uninspiring performance in the opening game.
Players To Watch Out For
Portugal’s main man, as expected, is one of the best footballers of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo. Young full backs Raphael Guerreiro and Cedric Soares add much needed speed on the flanks, while Manchester City’s Barnardo Silva and Milan’s Andre Silva would be looking to share the attacking responsibilities with Ronaldo.
Uruguay’s world class strike force will again be expected to fire them to the final stages of the tournament, just like Diego Forlan did at the 2010 World Cup. Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani form arguably the strongest striker-pairing in the world, and the presence of Diego Godin, one of the best defenders in the world, means that this side does have the quality to challenge any nation at the tournament. Luis Suarez will need to work on his finishing though, despite scoring the winning goal in the previous game.
Portugal Vs Uruguay Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- Uruguay are very slight favourites for this clash, although a draw within 90 minutes is a bet we would recommend.
- Uruguay, boasting of one of the best defenders in the world in Diego Godin, have the best defensive record in this tournament, with not a single goal conceded yet.
- While Ronaldo scored 4 of the team’s 5 goals, they struggled overall against Iran and Morocco. Combined with Uruguay’s brilliant defence we believe a 0-0 is on the cards.
- Betting on under 2.5 goals scored, and both teams not to score are bets we recommend.
Portugal started the tournament brightly, with Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick to prove they’re on the same level as Spain. However, the goals dried up in their next two matches. Uruguay improved with every passing game and have not conceded a goal yet. We expect this match to be a goalless draw within 90 minutes, with Uruguay nicking it in extra time.
Predicted Scoreline : Uruguay 1-0 Portugal (After Extra Time).