Uruguay and France will play the first quarterfinal tomorrow. This should be a real cracker of a game. Uruguay and France both were the winners of their respective groups in this tournament. Uruguay won all 9 points with 5 goals scored and none conceded. France won their group with 7 points – winning two games against Australia (2-1) and Peru (1-0) and drawing against Denmark (0-0).
In the quarterfinals both teams eliminated great rivals. Portugal lost 2-1 to Uruguay and Argentina lost 4-3 to France. Uruguay showed that they are maybe the most disciplined team in the tournament in the game against Portugal. They didn’t allow chances against the Portuguese and were all over the field.
Godin is the leader of Uruguay’s defense. He and the other defenders only conceded one goal in the tournament so far. They actually hold the record at the moment with Brazil for having conceded the least goals in this tournament.
Their only problem seems to be Cavani’s health. He trained with the ball for the first time today and he probably won’t be playing from the start. Oscar Tabarez hopes to have the possibility to play him at least from the bench. The player with most chances to replace him from the start is Girona’s Christian Stuani.
Luis Suarez probably won’t have his best companion’s support and will have to be at his absolute best to win his battles against Varane/Umtiti.
None of Uruguay’s players are suspended due to accumulated yellow cards.
France, on the other side, played the best game of the Round of 16 against Argentina. The game had everything. Fantastic goals on both sides, comebacks, defensive errors, everything. Now they will face a totally different team. Uruguay is a lot more organized and more balanced team than Argentina and they will have a mountain to climb to win.
Mbappe was maybe the player of the Round of 16. If he plays another game like that he would really be a strong contender to win the Golden Ball award of the tournament.
The only player that will not be able to play against Uruguay is Matuidi because he has received 2 yellow cards.
Nestor Pitana will be the referee of the game.
Expected Uruguay’s 11:
Muslera; Caceres, Godin, Gimenez, Laxalt; Torreira, Vecino, Bentancur, Nandez; Suarez, Stuani.
Expected France’s 11:
Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, L. Hernandez; Kante, Pogba, Tolisso, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud.
Both teams are facing different oppositions than every team they have faced in the tournament so far and it is really tough to predict this game. Uruguay has maybe the best defense in the tournament, but France has arguably the best attack. It will really be a clash of the titans. Both former World Champions will fight until the end to go the semifinals.
Uruguay to go through on penalties