Uruguay’s in-form striker Edinson Cavani is expected to miss this match with the calf injury he suffered in their win over Portugal. Former Middlesbrough forward Cristhian Stuani is expected to be drafted in to play alongside Luis Suarez.
France coach Didier Deschamps must decide who replaces the suspended Blaise Matuidi in midfield. Corentin Tolisso appears to be the front-runner, having started their opening match against Australia.
The quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup get underway with a fascinating clash of styles between two teams laced with world-class players. Uruguay boast the joint meanest defence along with Brazil so far, having let in just a solitary goal in four games, while France, after an insipid start, threw off the shackles in some style to eliminate Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
Uruguay’s fearsome forward duo of Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani grab many of the headlines but going into this match only Portugal’s Pepe had managed to breach La Celeste’s defence.
There is no doubt, though, that France will pose an altogether different test, especially now that they look to have found their attacking élan. Kylian Mbappe’s performance in the last 16 could turn out to be a seminal moment in his career. He became the first teenager since Pele in 1958 to score twice in a World Cup match.
VIEW FROM BOTH CAMPS
Uruguay head coach Oscar Tabarez: “France’s strongest points are the attackers, (Antoine) Griezmann and (Kylian) Mbappe. If you let France have space it will be very difficult.”
France head coach Didier Deschamps: “I am preparing my team for if Cavani plays. If he plays or not, I will only know 90 minutes before the game.”
“They (Uruguay) have so many assets, so many qualities. They defend as a unit, they play together and they love to do that.”
Uruguay have struck me as being extremely difficult to beat and, whether or not it is backed up statistically, I think they have got the best defence in the competition.
France, meanwhile, have slowly got better and better since the tournament started, and then exploded into life in their win over Argentina.
I think this will be tight but I fancy Didier Deschamps’ side, who are starting to look like a really good team rather than a collection of very talented individuals.
Source: BBC News