The first of the quarter-finals is a blockbuster that will see Group C winners France take on Group A winners Uruguay. Both sides have been building nicely until this point, although only one team can progress.
France reached the knockout stage in a slow and steady fashion, scoring just three goals and doing the absolute minimum necessary to progress. An early goal against Argentina in the Round of 16 had many predicting a typically low-key French victory, although Argentina’s two goals either side of the half-time break seemed to shock the French into action.
Led by Kylian Mbappe, France finally showed what a team of their calibre can do, and the PSG forward’s double on top of a wonder strike by Benjamin Pavard was enough for them to totally change the complexion of the match, and the French were 4-3 winners over Lionel Messi’s men.
Uruguay started just as slowly, only just managing to defeat Egypt and Saudi Arabia by the barest of margins, before knocking a ten-man Russia off their pedestal with a 3-0 win. Many predicted a Portugal win in their Round of 16 clash, but Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani combined superbly to give the South Americans a huge win.
The big news is that Cavani may be injured and out of this game, and that would ruin what could be one of the games of the tournament. If he is out, Uruguay will almost certainly go on the defensive. The key will be an early France goal, and if we get one we could see another high-scoring affair.
Uruguay have the better head-to-head record with two wins to one, although there have been four scoreless draws between the sides, including two at the World Cup.
There has only been one instance in seven matches where more than two goals were scored in a France vs Uruguay match, and that was in the 1966 World Cup.
On paper, France boast the better lineup, but Uruguay’s Diego Godin has been arguably the player of the tournament. Uruguay have only conceded one goal, and have won all four matches – he is one of the big reasons for this.
France start at -113, which is crazy short considering how good Uruguay have been so far in this tournament. The South Americans are outsiders and paying +329, while the draw is on offer for +237.
This will be much tighter than the sports books are predicting, but we are going to stick with them and put our money on a French win. Given the number of proven goal scorers in each camp, we’re picking both to score – 2-1 to France.
France vs Uruguaywill kickoff at 2pm ET on Friday, July 6 and will be played atNizhny Novgorod Stadium inNizhny Novgorod.