By: Jason Green
Date: Saturday June 30th
Match Odds: Uruguay +175 / Portugal +200 / Draw +200
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Uruguay comes into this round of 16 match as a slight betting favorite and they have not conceded a goal in the World Cup. They have outscored their opponents 5-0 in this Tournament and overall, they have six clean sheets in their last six matches. However, in this match they have to contend with Cristiano Ronaldo, who has Four goals in three matches.
Portugal has Ronaldo and a good all-around squad, but they only played to a draw facing Spain and Iran in group play and only beat Morocco 1-0.
Uruguay was not in the toughest group in the World Cup, but they still bagged nine points in three matches and they beat host Russia 3-0 in their last match.
Ronaldo is chasing Harry Kane of England (5 goals) for the Golden Boot in the World Cup, but can he come through when it counts? He has never scored in the World Cup knockout stage and that is 424 minutes of play. He has already missed a penalty in this Tournament and Andre Silva and the midfield players push forward to help their superstar out.
While the defense has been great for Uruguay they may have an awakening of the attacking duo of LUis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in this match. Each scored in the last match in the 3-0 win over Russia, but they attack has not looked that great. They have to play well in this match and both squads will look for the counter-attack as well.
While Portugal has Ronaldo the club has tended to be cautious when playing in elimination matches and they played that way on their way to their surprising win in the 2016 European Championships. Their midfield has to play both ways on the attack and on defense and aim for time of possession.
Both teams are tactical and hold onto leads when led by their star strikers. However, with each team using a similar Game-plan, which team will execute. It looked as if Portugal looked off in their last two matches in group play after playing to a solid 3-3 draw facing giant Spain in their first match in Russia. Ronaldo and company will be playing a similar team and the have to get off to a good start and not let Uruguay dictate the pace of the match.
The winner of this match will face the winner of the France vs. Argentina match in the quarterfinals.
Last Three Matches
6/15/18 Egypt 0 Uruguay 0 (World Cup)
6/20/18 Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 1 (World Cup)
6/25/18 Uruguay 3 Russia 0 (World Cup)
6/15/18 Portugal 3 Spain 3 (World Cup)
6/20/18 Portugal 1 Morocco 0 (World Cup)
6/25/18 Iran 1 Portugal 1 (World Cup)
Prediction: Both teams have the attack, but Uruguay has played better on the defensive side of the pitching in their three matches. Still, this will be a low scoring affair and Ronaldo will step up on the big stage and carry Portugal to a win. He may not score, but he will be a an issue for the Uruguay defense and Portugal will get the narrow 1-0 win moving onto the quarterfinals.