Portugal vs. Uruguay
|Date & Time||Saturday June 30, 2018, 2:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: POR +202 / URU +182 / Draw +201 -- Over/Under: 2
Uruguay and Portugal meet Saturday in World Cup soccer action at Olympic Stadium.
Uruguay managed to sweep its group by beating Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia, and has now won six straight matches overall. Uruguay was able to flex its muscle defensively, as it controlled possession for two of the three matches and didn’t allow a single goal. In fact, Uruguay hasn’t allowed a goal overall since its November friendly match against Austria. Few teams are playing with the confidence of Uruguay, as the defense does its job consistently and the offense produces just enough, particularly Luis Suarez, who has scored in each of the last two matches. If you’re looking for one reason to doubt the Sky Blue, you can question the toughness of its group. Uruguay didn’t have the toughest path to get to this point, as it played Egypt without Mohamed Salah and Russia had just 10 men for much of its match. This match will give us a better idea if Uruguay is for real or not.
Portugal did much better than anyone could have expected, as it forced a draw against Spain, beat Morocco and drew against Iran, making it out of a group some were questionable about. It’s not always pretty for the Selection of the Quinas, but this club has proven it can claw out positive results and will its self to an advance. Of course, it doesn’t hurt having arguably the best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored four of the teams five goals this tournament. Ronaldo wasn’t great in his last match, but when he’s on and can find open space, nobody can takeover a game the way he can. The concern for Portugal is that this team didn’t look good against Iran and blew a chance to win the group. In fact, Portugal easily could have lost that match late if it wasn’t for a poorly hit ball. Portugal is what it is at this point, a one-man show that needs its best player to play at a high level to have a chance of making an even deeper run.
There’s no recent matches between these two sides.
Both of these teams have been solid enough defensively to where the difference for me comes down to who can find the back of the net easier. Portugal simply has the best player on the field, and he’s shown time and time again that he not only will find quality looks at some point, but he seems to play better the bigger the stage. Uruguay obviously has a bit more balance, but it’s also had a much easier path and you have to question just how much that has to do with how impressive its looked.
I’ll take Portugal to advance for even money.