|The 2018 World Cup knockout stages begin on Saturday 30th June with a match between Uruguay and Portugal.
Uruguay reached the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup and will be aiming to repeat their success of South Africa. Portugal are the current European champions and this team knows what it takes to win a major tournament.
Uruguay come into this match having topped their group and will be feeling very good about their chances in this game. They started their campaign with a 1-0 win over Egypt and while the performance was not great, Uruguay got the job done and moved on to the game with Saudi Arabia.
Again, Uruguay were not at their best but with a solid foundation at the back, the South American nation scored the only goal of the game to pick up maximum points. This secured their place in the Round of 16 with a game to spare.
The final match of Group A saw Uruguay play the hosts, Russia. This was Uruguay’s best performance to date as they defeated Russia 3-0 to finish top of the group without conceding a goal.
Portugal were drawn in a tough looking group with Spain, Morocco and Iran. The opening match saw them meet Spain and the Portuguese played well at times and took the lead in the game. However, they found themselves 3-2 down with only two minutes remaining on the clock and it took a moment of magic from Cristiano Ronaldo to rescue a point.
The Real Madrid man was at it again in Portugal’s next match against Morocco. Ronaldo got himself free at a corner and headed the ball home inside the first 10 minutes. Portugal could not extend their lead and it was not a brilliant performance but they took all 3 points to remain in contention for the Round of 16.
The final match against Iran was full of drama and despite having taken lead Portugal were pegged back thanks to a controversial penalty. Iran came close to scoring a winner near the near the end of the game but missed a golden opportunity to score.
Portugal have not played to their maximum potential at the 2018 World Cup and the European champions will be hoping there is more to come.
Team news and Uruguay are set to be a full strength for this match. Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez will play at the heart of the defence with Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez up-front. The main selection decisions will come in midfield.
Portugal could make a few changes from the team which played against Iran. Bernardo Silva and Gancalo Guedes will be hoping to start the match but the goal scorer in that game, Ricardo Quaresma could keep his place in the starting XI.
This could be a very physical match and do not be surprised to see yellow cards and foul play. Although, Uruguay have looked the better team throughout the group stages both teams are very equal, so Sportseconds predicts possible draw with both teams to score .