|We are fast approaching the business end of the 2018 World Cup. The first of the four quarter-finals will take place on Friday at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium as Uruguay meet France.
Uruguay have won the competition twice in their history but you must go back to 1950 to find the last time they lifted the trophy. Having reached the semi-final in 2010, Uruguay will be hoping to match that performance in 2018.
France were left reeling at the end of the 2016 European Championship as they lost 1-0 to Portugal in the final. This match presents an opportunity for France to reach their first World Cup semi-final since 2006 in Germany.
Uruguay were drawn in a group with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the hosts, Russia. Having defeated both Egypt and Saudi Arabia 1-0, Uruguay produced their best performance of the tournament to beat Russia 3-0 and top Group A.
What followed was a tough Round of 16 match against Portugal. Edinson Cavani scored two good goals as Uruguay defeated the Portuguese 2-1 and fully deserved their place in the quarter-final for the way in which they played.
Uruguay do not have a star-studded midfield but they do have players who work well in a system. With Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez in defence and Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani up-front, they have world class quality at both ends of the pitch.
France started their 2018 World Cup campaign with a less than impressive showing against Australia. A late deflected goal gave them a 2-1 win and another narrow victory followed against Peru, with France winning 1-0.
Qualification was secured ahead of the final group game against Denmark and the teams played out a 0-0 draw, which saw France finish top of the group.
The reward for winning the group was a match against Argentina in the Round of 16. The South Americans had yet to impress in the tournament and France exploited the gaps in their defence to score 4 goals, including one from the penalty spot.
It was an excellent attacking display from the French but they did concede 3 goals themselves and this will be a slight concern when going up against Suarez and Cavani.
Looking ahead to the team news and Uruguay are sweating on the fitness of Cavani. The Paris Saint-Germain striker has scored 3 goals at the World Cup but left the field early against Portugal with an injury. There is a fear it could be a hamstring injury which will see him miss the rest of the tournament. Christhian Stuani could come in to replace him.
France could name the same team which started the match against Argentina. Benjamin Mendy is the only injury doubt for Didier Deschamps and if fit he is likely to be on the bench.
This is going to be an extremely close game. France looked very good against Argentina but Uruguay will not give them the same amount of space in which to break. France have the superior individual talent but Uruguay are a great team and if they can frustrate the French we could see another upset at the 2018 World Cup.