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Uruguay vs. Portugal preview, players to watch, key stats

30 June, 2018, 01:14 | Author: John Swanson
  • Cristiano Ronaldo was lucky to stay on the pitch after an altercation with Iran’s Morteza Pouraliganji. AFP

Criticised for his lack of sharpness in Uruguay's opening game at the World Cup, Luis Suarez insists he is in better shape now as he goes head to head with Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in the last 16.

Ahead of their return to the Black Sea coast, the more prosaic feel that ran throughout their slow march to Euro 2016 glory has returned, with Ronaldo giving Portugal an early lead it hung on to against Morocco before Ricardo Quaresma's sublime strike illuminated a VAR-fueled 1-1 draw with Iran.

"Their central defenders play for Atletico Madrid, who won the Europa League".

Clubless William Carvalho could miss the game for Portugal, having been absent from training in the build-up with a minor injury, but Gelson Martins and Raphael Guerreiro are fit to start.

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Back in 2006, they defeated Netherlands 1-0 in the so-called "Battle of Nuremberg" to progress to the World Cup quarterfinals. They have not faced each other since July 1972, when they drew 1-1 at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium. - All five of Uruguay's goals at Russian Federation 2018 have been scored from set pieces (three from corners, 1 from direct free kick and 1 from an indirect free kick).

Uruguay, meanwhile, go into the knockout stages aiming to win their third World Cup, and first since 1950, in Russian Federation.

This will be the third encounter between Uruguay and Portugal and their first at the World Cup.

Read on for a preview of Saturday's head-to-head between Uruguay and Portugal, complete with the latest teams news and all the necessary live-stream information needed to tune in. It's going to be a confrontation between two teams of high quality.

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All five of Uruguay's goals at the 2018 World Cup have been scored from set-pieces (three from corners, one from a direct free-kick and one from an indirect free-kick). However, they have lost their last three games in the World Cup knockout stages (1 goal scored, 5 conceded).

Luis Suarez has scored seven World Cup goals for Uruguay, second only to Oscar Miguez (eight) - Suarez scored twice against South Korea in his only previous World Cup appearance in the round of 16, in 2010.

Uruguay were the first team to win all three group games without conceding a goal since Argentina in 1998.

Ronaldo has been in devastating form in Russian Federation, scoring four goals to help European champions and Group B runners-up Portugal reach the knockout rounds.

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The squad is fully fit and nobody is suspended, but boss Fernando Santos has some big decisions to make. Sports Illustrated's Planet Fútbol, meanwhile, predicted a 2-1 victory for Uruguay. "Portugal, like everyone else playing on Saturday, are one of 11 teams with at least 5% chance of winning the competition".

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