World Cup 2018: Uruguay vs Portugal - preview, team news, predicted XI, prediction, head to head, & interesting stats
The reigning European champions Portugal started off their campaign in Group B with an exciting draw against 2010 World Cup winners Spain. In one of the early contenders for the match of this World Cup Portugal twice went ahead before falling behind in a topsy-turvy match that Diego Costa and Nacho scoring for Spain while Cristiano Ronaldo, with almost the last kick of normal time levelling it up for Portugal, in doing so completing his first World Cup hat-trick making him the oldest man ever to score a hattrick in the World Cup.
The next two matches saw the vulnerable side of the reigning European champions as Portugal scampered through to a 1-0 victory against Morocco courtesy of that man Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his 4th goal of the tournament. In the final match of the group stage, Portugal saw off a determined challenge from Iran to record a 1-1 draw to qualify as runners-up in Group B, in the match that was marred by controversial VAR decisions.
2-time former World Cup winners Uruguay started off their campaign with hard earned 1-0 victory Egypt courtesy of 89th-minute winner by Jose Gimenez. They soon followed it up with another 1-0 victory over a determined Saudi Arabian side with help of a Luis Suarez goal.
But the 3rd match against Russia saw why the Uruguayans have the best forward line-up in the World as Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani fired one each in between a Denis Cheryshev own goal to register a convincing 3-0 victory against the host nation as they qualified as group toppers from group A.
Uruguay centre-back Jose Gimenez is expected to return to the starting line-up after missing the match against Russia.
Raphael Guerreiro and Gelson Martins are in contention to play in the next match after returning to full training while William Carvalho is a doubt after missing one training session.
Possible line-ups for both the teams
Uruguay XI: Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Godin, Diego Laxalt, Nahitan Nandez, Matias Vecino, Lucas Torreira, Rodrigo Bentancur, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani.
Portugal XI: Rui Patricio, Cedric, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro, William, Adrien Silva, Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Mario, Goncalo Guedes, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Head to Head Stats
This will be the third encounter between Portugal and Uruguay and the first one in a World Cup. The Portuguese are undefeated in the 2 matches these two teams have played in, with the last match coming in 1972.
Uruguay will be looking to win their opening 4 matches at a World Cup for only the second time after 1930, where they won the first ever FIFA World Cup but have failed to qualify from the round of 16 in 3 of the 4 times they have entered it after it was introduced in 1986.
Uruguay is the only remaining side in this World Cup yet to concede a goal.
Luis Suarez can equal the record of being the highest scorer for Uruguay if he scores one against Portugal.
Cristiano Ronaldo can equal the record as the player with the most appearances at the World Cups and European Championships if he plays in Portugal's next match against Uruguay while Ronaldo is yet to score a goal in 424 minutes for Portugal in the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Portugal vs Uruguay, Round of 16:
Match Date: 30 June 2018, Saturday
Match Timing: 23:30 IST
Match Venue: Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia
Uruguay looks a tough side to crack with Atletico Madrid centre-back partnership proving quite a handful to the teams that have faced it. I expect a tough and very physical match with a penalty shootout to determining the winners of this match.
Portugal 0-0 Uruguay. Portugal to win in the penalty shootout