FIFA World Cup 2018 is heading towards the knockout stage and 16 teams are set to appear in Round of 16. We have two games on the opening day of R16 as Portugal to play Uruguay and Argentina to face France. Uruguay vs Portugal game is scheduled to kick off at 21:00 local time on 30 June at Sochi’s Fisht Olympic Stadium.
URU vs POR Round of 16 Battle
Date: 30 June
Fixture: Uruguay vs Portugal
Match Timings: 21:00 MSK, 23:30 IST, 19:00 BST
Venue: Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
European champions are all set to play one of the most exciting games of 2018 world cup as they’ll be facing two time world cup champion Uruguay. However these two sides haven’t played against each other many games. These two national sides have met just two times on the soccer field. Portugal won one game meanwhile one ended at draw.
This will be first occasion when Portugal and Uruguay are facing off each other in the FIFA World Cup tournament. Hence it will be a good contest between two sides as winner will qualify for 2018 world cup quarterfinal.
Portugal qualified into knockouts by playing 1-1 draw against Iran. Euro champs played 3-3 draw against Spain as well. But team registered 1-0 victory over Morocco to attain three crucial points for the knockout qualification. On the other side, Uruguay were fabulous in the group stage as they won their all three group games.
Cristiano Ronaldo to be key player for Portuguese team once again along with Pepe, Soares, Guedes, Silva and Carvalho. Uruguayan midfielder Gimenez is expected to return in the playing XI for this nail biting game. Godin, Suarez and Cavani are the key players for Uruguay team.
Ahead of crunch game against Uruguay, Portugal defender Cedric Soares praised Uruguay side for their world cup record and he clearly mentioned that two time champions would not make their job easy in the knockout. He also emphasized that Portugal have got good side too that can overcome Uruguay.
“There’s no doubt that Uruguay have excellent squad. They were football world cup winner twice. It’s an excellent team but we also have our weapons. We are going to have time prepare for this encounter in the best way possible. Needless to say, we have our qualities and we really believe in them,” Soares said.
“All our opposing teams have big players and some small ones. In football it’s irrelevant. We have to attack the ball, and treat every ball as dangerous, always be aware. That’s how we’re going to face every instance of the knockout game against Uruguay,” he added.
Uruguayan midfielder Jose Maria Gimenez may play crucial knockout game against Portugal as he was seen in practice session on Wednesday. He was suffering with thigh injury for few days and was spotted with team mates during practice session.
If Gimenez gets fit and play pre-quarterfinal, he’ll be the key player in midfield to stop Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
Starting Playing XIs
Muslera, Varela, Godin, Gimenez, Caceres, Nandez, Vecino, Bentancur, De Arrascaeta, Suarez, Cavani.
Patricio, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro, Soares, Silva, Carvalho, Moutinho, Fernandes, Ronaldo, Guedes.
Read More: Ronaldo to face Messi in 2018 world cup
Both Uruguay and Portugal are strong sides and anybody can beat any side on their day. In this 2018 world cup and current form suggests, Portugal looks favorite against Uruguay in the Round of 16 match. As per Sports Mirchi predictions, Portugal to win and the predicted scoreline could be 2-1 in the favor of Portuguese team.