Fifa World Cup - Russia 2018

Uruguay vs Portugal match build up #WorldCup

TEAM NEWS

Uruguay centre-back Jose Gimenez could return to the side after missing the game with Russia with a back injury.

Portugal winger Gelson Martins and left-back Raphael Guerreiro are in contention to play after they returned to full training.

Defensive midfielder William Carvalho is a doubt after he missed a training session on Thursday.

Midfielder Joao Moutinho could come into the side after starting on the bench against Iran.

WILL A FAILURE TO WIN THE GROUP HAUNT PORTUGAL?

Will Portugal live to regret the injury-time goal they conceded against Iran? That 1-1 draw on Monday saw them finish second in Group B to set up a match against Luis Suarez and Uruguay, whereas group winners Spain face an easier-looking tie against hosts Russia.

Two-time winners Uruguay cruised through Group A, winning all three games, scoring five times and not conceding any, with a 3-0 win over Russia securing top spot.

A late goal from Jose Maria Gimenez gave them a 1-0 win over Egypt in their opener before Barcelona striker Suarez scored the only goal to see off Saudi Arabia.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four times in the tournament, with only England’s Harry Kane having scored more (five).

Ronaldo’s hat-trick gave them a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain in their first game, before the Real Madrid forward got the only goal in a 1-0 win over Morocco.

Ricardo Quaresma’s superb strike gave them the lead against Iran in their third group game, before Ronaldo missed a penalty.

Iran then gained an injury-time penalty after a handball by Cedric Soares, with the spot-kick given via the video assistant referee, and Karim Ansarifard converted it to drop Portugal from first to second in the group.

VIEW FROM BOTH CAMPS

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez: “We need to improve very quickly [from the performance against Russia], because any match in the round of 16 will be extremely difficult.

“For me the holy grail of football is the word ‘balance’. When we attack we need to be able to attack, but it doesn’t come from an abstract suggestion.”

Uruguay defender Sebastian Coates, talking about Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, said: “We will mark him with the same respect we mark everyone, despite him being a superstar. You don’t prepare a match just looking at one player.”

Portugal coach Fernando Santos: “They are a typical South American side.

“It’s not just in this World Cup that they have not been conceding goals – it has been like that for the whole of 2018.

“Oscar Tabarez is the longest-serving international manager. That means he has a very strong relationship with his players.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

This will be a busy evening for the referee, not least with Uruguay’s Atletico Madrid centre-halves Diego Godin and Jose Jimenez up against Portugal’s Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal will not change the way they play, which is quite one-dimensional and not particularly inspiring.

Uruguay have not exactly set this tournament alight with their attacking play either, but they are more adventurous and have a few more ideas when they come forward.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-0

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