World Cup 2018 – Uruguay-Portugal

The teams of Uruguay and Portugal face each other in a match from the 1/8-finals of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. This game is going to be played at the Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisch in the city of Sochi.

Uruguay reached the 1/8-finals after dominating Group A and winning it with a perfect record of 9 points from three games played. La Celeste won the group without conceding a goal in these three matches, which is surely an impressive stat. Uruguay’s best win in the group was against the host of the competition Russia – 3-0.

The European champion Portugal also reached the knockout phase of tournament unbeaten. But unlike Uruguay, Portugal won just once in the group stage – against Morocco. They also made draws against Spain and Iran. Selecao conceded four goals in these three matches, but managed to score five. Four of these five goals were scored by the team’s captain and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Right now Ronaldo is just one goal behind England’s Harry Kane in the fight for the Golden Boot.

Uruguay’s manager Oscar Tabarez have a problem to solve before the 1/8-final against Portugal. Atletico Madrid’s defender Jose Gimenez is complaining of an injury, which puts him in doubt for the next match. He had a muscle problem, but on Wednesday he returned to training, so he might feature against Selecao.

Portugal’s manager Fernando Santos is lucky enough to be able to use his full squad for the game. We shall expect once again a traditional 4-4-2 by Santos with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the attack. The young Goncalo Guedes is set to start alongside the Ballon d’Or winner, while we may see the inclusion of the veteran Ricardo Quaresma in midfield.

This is an interesting match up between these two teams, because both of them are naturally defensive and cautious in their approach. This means that both of them will think first of their defense on Saturday night. We shall expect a really tight game between them. Possibly not with a lot of goals or chances for scoring. But with attackers like Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, every opportunity for a goal could be decisive.

This is going to be the third time when these two sides meet. And their first meeting at the World Cup. In the two matches previously played, Portugal won once and the other game ended with a draw. Could now Uruguay snatch their first win against the Selecao? They couldn’t have a better moment for this, that’s for sure.

It’s hard to pick up a favourite in this clash in Sochi. How we said, both teams are masters of defense, so even a 0-0 result between them sounds pretty logical to happen. Both teams have very experienced managers, so we expect to see a lot of tactical duels. Generally we do not expect to see a lot of goals here. We also won’t be surprised to see penalty kicks between Uruguay and Portugal in this 1/8-final from the World Cup.