Today’s Predictions : Uruguay Vs France
Uruguay 0 – 2 France
The first quarter final match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is between European giants France and the impressive South Americans Uruguay.
- Date : 6th July 2018
- Time : 7:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
Probably the biggest match of the tournament so far, we have France taking on Uruguay in a potentially explosive game, with both teams in solid form ahead of this highly anticipated quarter final.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
France had a decent qualifying phase, topping a tricky group also including Sweden and The Netherlands, eventually finishing 4 points above both of them. Draws against Luxemborg and Belarus, however, were disappointing, and Didier Deschamps’ men would be looking to improve to live up to the tag of pre-tournament favourites.
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.
France have been in confident form in recent times, with 3 big wins in a row against Italy, Ireland and Russia. A rare 3-2 defeat to Colombia was preceded by an entertaining 2-2 draw with defending World Champions Germany, proving that this new young crop of French footballers have what it takes to match with the best in the world.
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.
Uruguay and France in the World Cup So Far
France were handed a relatively straightforward opening fixture against comparative minnows Australia. However, it was anything but straightforward, as the Kangaroos brought their A game to the field, and gave France a royal scare. Les Bleus needed a fortunate deflected striker from Paul Pogba in the dying minutes of the game to finally get over the finishing line. They beat Peru by a narrow margin in their second game, and did not look very convincing overall. In the third game again, France were far from dominant, as Paul Pogba was rested. They couldn’t get past a resilient Danish side and had to settle for a draw. While their group stage games lacked goals, all that changed with a memorable round of 16 clash against Argentina, which saw 7 goals scored between the sides, as France hung on to a 4-3 victory.
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 highflying Russian side with a brilliant performance, and ended the group stage without conceding a single goal. Uruguay then proceed to knock out Portugal, with 2 well taken goals by their striker Edinson Cavani.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have met 6 times before, out of which 4 have ended in a draw, and Uruguay have won the other 2 matches.
Along with Spain, France have dropped some of most high profile players in the world, to the shock and dismay of many fans. Manchester United’s mercurial winger Antony Martial and FC Bayern’s Kingsley Coman could not find a space in the final 23 man squad. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema was excluded as expected, but an even bigger omission was that of Arsenal’s new striker Lacazette, while the player he essentially replaced at the club i.e. Olivier Giroud being selected instead. Dimitri Payet also lost the race against time to be fit for the tournament.
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
When it comes to France, the spotlight will firmly be on their number 10 Antoine Griezmann, who won the Golden Boot as well as the Golden Ball at Euro 2016, to prove that he can elevate his game when it comes to playing for his nation. Premier League midfield enforcers Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante will be looking to live up to the hype and form a formidable partnership in the middle. This could also be Ousmanne Dembele’s chance to announce himself at the biggest stage of them all.
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 be hoping to continue his brilliant understanding with the in-form Cavani.
Uruguay Vs France Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- France are slight favourites for this clash, with their experience in European conditions likely to give them an edge in this match.
- Antoine Griezmann was the top scorer at the Euro 2016 campaign, and betting on him to open the scoring in this match would be a good idea. Similarly, Cavani has finally found his scoring touch, and betting on him to be the first goalscorer could yield good returns.
- Uruguay, boasting of one of the best defenders in the world in Diego Godin, have the joint best defensive record in this tournament, with just a single goal conceded yet.
- Though we expect France to eventually overcome their South American counterparts, we advise betting on a scored draw within 90 minutes, as that is usually the trend between big teams in knockout games.
Both these teams have been unbeaten in the tournament so far, while Uruguay have a 100% record with 4 wins in 4 matches, conceding just 1 goal in the process. However, France represent a different standard of threat, and we expect Les Bleus to live up to their favourites tag eventually.
Our Predicted Scoreline: France 1-1 Uruguay (France to win after extra time).