RUSSIA: The second match of the round of 16 will kick off at 11:00 pm on 30th June at the Fisht Stadium.
Uruguay: Uruguay are one of only three teams that have won all three group stage fixtures, Belgium and Croatia being the other two. Uruguay are truly a team to be feared this time around, fielding not only the likes of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez in attack but also Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez from Atletico in defence. The strike partnership between Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani will surely play a huge role should Uruguay knockout Portugal, not only this but Luis Suarez having already played against Portuguese centre-back Pepe, will know how to beat him should it become a one-on-one situation.
Portugal: Portugal started their world cup in an impressive manner, holding their own against a Spanish side dubbed as favourites to win the world cup itself. The main man for Portugal so far has been none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, having scored 4 goals to spearhead Portugal forward. The only other person to score a goal in Portugal’s world cup campaign other than Ronaldo so far is Ricardo Quaresma against Iran. The Portuguese side consists of fast-paced attacking players even in midfield. Although they are not known to be a very defensive side they do have veteran defender Pepe and even midfield general Carvalho who’s defensive capabilities have given Portugal a boost in their world cup games so far.
Team News: Oscar Tabarez’s side has received a boost after Gimenez recovered from a thigh injury and will most likely be available for the game against the Portuguese. Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are expected to start with Bentacur and Vecino being the main men in midfield for Uruguay, Fernando Muslera is also expected to return in goal.
The Portuguese side are likely not to make any changes, their current squad offers fast-paced football which can hurt the opponents as we have seen time and time again, recently against Spain. Cristiano Ronaldo will obviously play a key role should Portugal win from the Uruguayan’s who are in excellent form at the moment.
Uruguay Expected XI: Muslera, Laxalt, Godin, Gimenez, Caceres, Vecino, Torreira, Bentacur, Nandez, Cavani, Suarez
Portugal Expected XI: Rui patricio, Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro, Carvalho, Adrien, Joao Mario, Quaresma, Ronaldo, Andre silva
Ronaldo to add to his tally?
After thoroughly impressing in the group stages with four goals, can Ronaldo add further to his tally? After missing a penalty against Iran, some question whether he will score in the match against Uruguay. Ronaldo has had goal droughts after an amazing few games before, many fans fear the penalty miss is the start of one and that he won’t be able to contribute to the Portuguese world cup campaign with his goals, which have saved Portugal’s world cup this time around.
Uruguay’s Suarez and Cavani to lead them to the quarters?
Cavani and Suarez, both revered as top strikers in their respective leagues have been vital to Uruguay in the three matches they have played, especially against Russia, who they defeated 3-0 in their last group stage match. They go up against a side that has defenders and defensive midfielders from some of Europe’s biggest clubs. However, if anyone can break through Portugal’s defence, it’s this pair.
Predicted Scoreline: Portugal 2-0 Uruguay
Portugal have the power to overwhelm the Uruguayan team, especially Cristiano Ronaldo, who has not only played against the pair of centre-backs expected to start the match numerous times but he also has a very good goal scoring record against Uruguay’s first choice keeper, Fernando Muslera. Should Cristiano Ronaldo not be on his best on Saturday, it is very likely that Uruguay will be able to take advantage of that and Luis Suarez will deliver the death blow to the Portuguese.