Uruguay vs Portugal World Cup 2018
The Round of 16 has thrown up some enticing clashes and this is one of the best of them. Uruguay, fresh off three solid wins in the group stage will face a Portugal side who have stuttered and stumbled to the knockout stage.
Uruguay have looked in total control, despite recording narrow victories over their first two opponents (Egypt and Saudi Arabia). Our early pick to win Group A didn’t disappoint, particularly as they made Russia look average in their 3-0 win over the hosts. Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani started slowly, but look to be combining well. There’s plenty to like about the South Americans.
Portugal on the other hand have struggled. After perhaps putting all their energy into their opening match against Spain, their 1-0 win over Morocco can only be described as fortuitous. A good Cristiano Ronaldo goal in the opening five minutes was followed by 85 minuted of Moroccan dominance – it’s quite astounding that they didn’t find the back of the net.
Ronaldo’s men then blew an opportunity to lock in top spot in Group B by allowing a late Iranian equaliser in their final match, and while some may say it is better to avoid the Russians on their home patch, Uruguay showed us that Russia simply will not match it with the big teams, with or without 11 men on the pitch.
So how do we see this one?
Uruguay certainly boast the better squad overall and are simply in better form heading into the match. However, Cristiano Ronaldo’s men will be a difficult proposition, especially considering they won their last major tournament, and there’s always a sense that European teams have the edge over South Americans when they meet on their ‘home’ turf.
We’re going to go with form and pick Uruguay, and have a feeling that both sides will score goals. Uruguay is at great value here, paying +173, while the draw is at +186 and Portugal is paying +191.
It’s certainly a tight one to call, but go for Uruguay 2-1.
Uruguay vs Portugal Preview
Uruguay vs Portugal will kickoff at 2pm ET and will be played at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi.
Uruguay Likely Starting XI
- Fernando Muslera
- Guillermo Varela, Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Godin, Martin Caceres
- Nahitan Nandez, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Cristian Rodriguez
- Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani
Defender Jose Maria Gienez missed the game against Russia through injury, although we’re tipping him to make a return in this crucial game.
Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani will be the key men up front as always, but will need good service from what may be a diamond midfield.
Portugal Likely Starting XI
- Rui Patricio
- Cedric Soares, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerrero
- Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho, William Carvalho, Joao Mario
- Andre Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo
Whatever your opinion on the Cristiano Ronaldo elbow incident, his inclusion in the squad will give Portuguese fans hope even though he was off his game against Iran.
Ricardo Quaresma and Joao Mario will be crucial to this match in both attack and defence, as each team will look to their wide men for chance creation.
Other Betting Opportunities
Remember that the head to head market is relevant for the result at the end of 90 minutes, and in the event of the match going to extra time or penalties the ‘draw’ option would be the winner. Statistics show that matches between two top-ten ranked teams at the World Cup go to extra time approximately 42% of the time, which is a decent figure, although we’re confident Uruguay can get the job done in regulation time.
If you think there is the possibility of extra time, the ‘will there be an overtime’ market from Sports Interaction is paying +171.
If you would rather take the option of picking which team will progress, Betway offer a ‘to qualify’ line, and are paying -120 for a Uruguay win regardless of whether penalties are required to separate the teams.
Of course, there are plenty of other markets that could provide a decent outlay, and may be a safer bet than the head to head opportunities.
Luis Suarez is a great chance to score in this match, and is paying +138 in the ‘anytime goalscorer’ market. Considering how close this match will be and also taking into account the number of penalties that have been awarded at this tournament, it will be a smart bet to pick a penalty taker.
Picking the correct score is tough, although there’s plenty of reward for your risk. At +1000, our 2-1 prediction will provide a decent outlay.
***Round of 16
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
Match 50: France vs Argentina Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 49: Uruguay vs Portugal Odds (2 p.m. ET)
SUNDAY, JULY 1
Match 51: Spain vs Russia Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 52: Croatia vs Denmark Odds (2 p.m. ET)
MONDAY, JULY 2
Match 53: Brazil vs Mexico Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 54: Belgium vs Japan Odds (2 p.m. ET)
TUESDAY, JULY 3
Match 55: Sweden vs Switzerland Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 56: Colombia vs England Odds (2 p.m. ET)
FRIDAY, JULY 6
Match 57: Match 49 winner vs. Match 50 winner (10 a.m. ET)
Match 58: Match 53 winner vs. Match 54 winner (2 p.m. ET)
SATURDAY, JULY 7
Match 60: Match 55 winner vs. Match 66 winner (10 a.m. ET)
Match 59 Match 51 winner vs. Match 52 winner (2 p.m. ET)
TUESDAY, JULY 10
Match 61: Match 57 winner vs. Match 58 winner (2 p.m. ET)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11
Match 62: Match 59 winner vs. Match 60 winner (2 p.m. ET)
SATURDAY, JULY 14
Match 63: Match 61 loser vs. Match 62 loser (10 a.m. ET)
SUNDAY, JULY 15
Match 64: Match 61 winner vs. Match 62 winner (11 a.m. ET)
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