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World Cup 2018: 3 reasons why Uruguay can knock Portugal out of the World Cup

ANALYST
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451   //    30 Jun 2018, 18:50 IST

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Uruguay will take on Portugal in the second round of 16 fixture on Saturday

The group stage games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup have come to a close and we’ve got 16 teams who will fight each other out for football’s greatest prize starting Saturday.

The second fixture of the round of 16 will see two-time World Cup winners Uruguay take on the reigning European champions Portugal at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi.

This game is expected to be evenly contested one as there is very little to differentiate between both the sides in terms of their style of play.

Uruguay are on a perfect winning streak, they won all three of their group stage games, and should they beat Portugal on Saturday, it would be only the second time after 1930 that they would win all opening four games at a World Cup.

Portugal drew 3-3 against Spain in their opening game and went on to win the next one against Morocco, however, a 1-1 draw with Iran in their final game saw them finish second behind group winners Spain.

The winner of this knock-out tie will face either France or Argentina in the Quarterfinals.

So, without further delay, let's take a look at three reasons why Uruguay can knock Portugal out of the World Cup.

#3 A case for the defense

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Diego Godin will lead Uruguay's back-line against Portugal

“The best defence is a good offence” is an adage that is used in many fields of endeavour, especially in military combats to gain strategic advantage.

But does this work in football? Well, if it’s the Uruguayan football team, yes.

Oscar Tabarez’s side has been a tough nut to crack in the tournament so far as they are yet to concede a goal in three games.

They beat Egypt and Saudi Arabia with narrow 1-0 margins in the group stage and we are not too sure if they would be where they are today, had they conceded in those two games.

The men at the heart of Uruguayan defence are Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez. Sounds so like Atletico Madrid, right?

Well, you have seen how miserly the Uruguayan duo have been for the Rojo Blancos, haven’t you?

The fact that Uruguay has faced just six shots on goal so far, tells you how compact they are at the back.

Ronaldo and co. will have their task cut out for them if they are to get past the South American wall on Saturday.

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