The South Americans face the Europeans champions in a mouthwatering clash as we kick-start the knockout stages of the tournament.
Uruguay will be looking for a repeat of 2010 when they tale on Portugal in a Round of 16 clash at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as early elimination will be a disappointment for Oscar Tabarez’s side. Although, silent in the first match, star man Luis Suarez seems to be back with two goals in the last two group stage fixtures.
On the other hand, Portugal, relatively eased through Group B after coming from behind to draw 3-3 against Spain. The European champions will be hoping to beat the Latin Americans and book a berth for the next round.
About the teams
Tabarez has been at Uruguay’s helm for quite some time and has the utmost respect from all his players. Although, their first fixture against Egypt was an underwhelming one, La Celeste have picked up their game and will be expecting to win against Portugal.
Fernando Muslera has been in goal for many years and is expected to start against Portugal. He will be shielded by the likes of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez. Rodrigo Bentancur and Lucas Torreira will be expected to win the battle in the middle of the park. Meanwhile, up front, Suarez and PSG star Edinson Cavani will be expected link-up and score a goal or two.
Fernando Santos will be hoping his team can defend against what has been a dominant Uruguayan team so far. Euro 2016 hero Rui Patricio will start in goal, with Pepe and Jose Fonte in defense.
William Carvalho will be expected to shield his backline. Meanwhile, Bernardo Silva will be the team’s core creative force. Up front, Ronaldo is expected to partner Goncalo Guedes.
The match will take place at the Fisht Stadium, which has a capacity of 44,287. After this match, the stadium will host a quarterfinal too.
Uruguay: Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Godin, Diego Laxalt; Nahitan Nandez, Matias Vecino, Lucas Torreira, Rodrigo Bentancur; Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.
Portugal: Rui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro, William; Adrien Silva, Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Mario; Goncalo Guedes, Cristiano Ronaldo.
What to Expect
This looks like a well-balanced match, with both the teams having their strengths and weaknesses. However, the scoreline could very well be decided by the attackers on both sides or for that matter by the battle in the middle of the park.
Khel Now predicts
Uruguay 1-0 Portugal