By: Jason Green
Date: Friday July 6th
Match Odds: France +EVEN / Uruguay +345 / Draw +220
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Uruguay heads into the quarterfinals as an underdog and with good reason since striker Edinson Cavani is likely out due to injury. He netted both the goals in the 2-1 knockout stage match against Portugal and he will be missed.
The winner of this match will face the winner of the Brazil vs. Belgium match in the semifinals.
France beat Argentina 4-3 in their last match sending Lionel Messi home. They came back from a 2nd half 2-1 deficit and then scored three unanswered goals before giving up one late and then hanging on to advance.
For France Benjamin Mendy and Djibril Sidibe have injury concerns and Blaise Matuidi is suspended after picking up his 2nd yellow card in the win over Argentina.
France has a little history on their side in this big match, as they have not lost in the World Cup to a South American squad since the 1978 Tournament in a span of nine matches. However, even without Cavani, Uruguay has the attack and they have won seven straight matches with clean sheets in six of them.
LUis Suarez will lead the Uruguay attack and there are three other available strikers to choose from. However, those three only have a grand total of five international goals with Jonathan Urretaviscaya scoring all of them.
19-year old Kylian Mbappe scored two goals for Les Bleus’ in their last match and has Four goals overall in Russia. France may have the advantage in the midfield facing Uruguay, who lost the time of possession battle in the win over Portugal 67% to 33%. If they can control that area of the pitch and contain Suarez they should be in pretty good shape.
In group play France only conceded one goal before giving up three in the win over Argentina. Hugo Loris and the defensive line has played well and have to feel happy that Cavani is likely on the sidelines. Still, Uruguay has the players to attack and they will, which is why the French will have their chances on the counter-attack.
In the six all-time matches between these teams Uruguay has won Four times and there have been two draws.
Paul Pogba and the French midfield will have to create scoring chances and push the ball. France also lost the time of possession battle in their last match (60% to 40%), but look for them to turn the tables in this match and win that aspect of the match facing Uruguay.
Last Three Matches
6/20/18 Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0
6/25/18 Uruguay 3 Russia 0
6/30/18 Uruguay 2 Portugal 1
6/21/18 France 1 Peru 1
6/26/18 Denmark 0 France 0
6/30/18 France 4 Argentina 3
Prediction: Uruguay has had a good run to the quarters in Russia, but that run will end here. The French have the better squad, especially in the midfield, and they will get the 2-1 win and Les Bleus’ will advance to the semifinals.