Right now, the most evenly matched game in the Round of 16 looks to be the match between Portugal and Uruguay. These two teams are similar in that they are led from the front by world class strikers, but the oddsmakers seem to be a little more taken with Uruguay. With Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani paired up top, it’s easy to fall in love with La Celeste. However, you can never count out a Portuguese team with Cristiano Ronaldo at the forefront.
The most anticipated sporting event in the world comes around once every four years, so don’t miss any of the 2018 World Cup. This match will take place at Fisht Stadium in Sochi at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 30, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on FOX.
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It took a while for Uruguay’s offense to get on track at the World Cup. The side was only able to squeeze out 1-0 wins over Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with the former coming from an 89th minute goal from Jose Maria Gimenez. However, they showed what they can do at their peak with their performance against Russia.
Uruguay was brilliant with first place in Group A on the line. Luis Suarez opened the scoring with a low free kick in the 10th minute, and the lead was doubled less than 15 minutes later when a shot deflected off of Denis Cheryshev and trickled past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. A hard foul led to a player from Russia being sent off shortly afterwards, and the issue was decided from there.
The Portuguese were tested in ways that weren’t expected thus far. Some Ronaldo magic earned the star a hat trick in the 3-3 draw with Spain to open the World Cup for Portugal, but the Portuguese tailed off after a scintillating start.
They were stifled by both Morocco and Iran, finding the back of the net just once in each match. Morocco largely outplayed Portugal and were a bit unlucky to get a loss, while Iran was a bit fortunate to pick up the draw thanks to a Ronaldo penalty miss.
Player to Watch
Cavani finally found the back of the net in the 90th minute for a goal that has been a long time coming. He has been Uruguay’s deadliest players thus far at the World Cup, outshining Suarez even though the latter has typically performed better over the course of their careers. Cavani has threatened to score in all three Uruguay matches, and his handling has helped him get the ball in dangerous areas inside the box. He should threaten again versus a Portugal back line that has had its share of issues.
Matchup to Watch
Ronaldo might find it tough to score against Uruguay’s back line. Uruguay posted three clean sheets in the Group Stage and have not given up a goal over their last six matches. However, center back Jose Maria Gimenez will be out for this match. He may have torn a thigh muscle, and that would stretch Uruguay a bit thin.
Additionally, as good as Uruguay’s defense have been, they did not face a player close to Ronaldo’s level during the Group Stage. Mo Salah was sidelined when they played Egypt, and neither Saudi Arabia or Russia have a player that strikes fear in your heart the way Ronaldo does. Ronaldo is doing it alone at this point though, as no one else for Portugal has really stepped up alongside him, so that will make it easier for Uruguay to stop him.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
Cavani is going to have a Man of the Match performance in this one. He has been on the cusp of some great performances this World Cup, and this will be the match where he breaks through.
World Cup Round of 16 Odds: Uruguay 2, Portugal 0
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