Portugal just about qualified for 2018 FIFA World Cup knockout stages after getting a point against Iran in their last group game. Now they play Uruguay in the round of 16 match on Saturday, 16th June 2018 at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. Portugal finished runners-up in their group after that 1-1 draw against Iran but they would have preferred to finish group winners and face Russia instead. Uruguay on the other hand cruised to 9 points in Group A and will be favourites going into the last 16 match.
Portugal vs Uruguay Preview: Both of these teams are very hard to beat, built on their strong and resilient defense makes it a chess game which might go all the way to penalties. Uruguay are very strong defensively and hard to breakdown and when you combine that with their forward duo of Suarez and Cavani it makes the deadly on both ends of the field. Portugal on the other hand started the tournament with that famous 3-3 draw with Ronaldo scoring a hattrick but he will be under pressure going into the knockouts having missed the penalty against Iran and the fact he has never scored in knockout ties in world cup.
Luis Suarez is the man to watch out for who has scored 7 world cup goals so far in his career and his last round of 16 appearance came back in 2010 when he scored a brace against South Korea. But he face a team who have only lost 1 of the last 17 world cup games in normal time. Portugal’s only defeat in major tournament’s knockout ties came back in 2014 when Germany humbled them 4-0. other than that they have a record of 8 wins and 8 draws in normal time (penalties excluded)
Team News & Possible Starting Lineups: Both teams have full squad to choose from and we can expect Portugal to start with Andre Silva and Ronaldo upfront with flat four midfield of Quaresma, João Mário, William Carvalho and Adrien. Guerreiro, Cedric, Pepe and Fonte to start in defense while Rui Patricio to keep goal.
This is how I expect both teams to lineup on Saturday.
Uruguay will use their trusted 5-3-2 formation with Suarez and Cavani starting upfront. Godin, Gimenez and Coates to start in back three while Lodeiro and Laxalt to play as wingbacks.
Match Predictions: Uruguay team looks more balanced both at the back and going forward. While might look lightweight in midfield and at the back but they must be doing something right as they can’t seem to lose in knockouts. With Ronaldo in the lineup there is always a goal in them and 1 might be enough on Saturday to see off Uruguay. However, this Uruguay side with Godin and Gimenez at the back have a solid foundation and I expect them to get the better of Portugal. I am going with 1-0 win for Uruguay in this one.
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