Thursday, September 20, 2018

Prediction: Uruguay vs France

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

Buoyed by the impressive triumph over Portugal, in-form Uruguay will fancy their chances of claiming another major scalp when they take on star-studded France in the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals. Les Bleus, on the other hand, managed to outclass Argentina few days ago and they hope this will be just another obstacle on the road to the final in Moscow.

Uruguay

Uruguay had reached new heights under long-serving manager Oscar Tabarez, finishing fourth at the 2010 World Cup finals while also lifting the 2011 Copa America trophy. But, despite finishing second in the South American zone of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, La Celeste were not exactly seen as one of the candidates for the coveted trophy. Nevertheless, Tabarez and his men were always confident in their own abilities and they have so far done really well in Russia.

Uruguay head into the high-profile quarter-final clash against France as one of just two sides to have won all four games so far, having impressed in group stage before defeating Portugal 2-1 in the last 16 match. As expected, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani were instrumental in those wins, with the latter scoring a brace against the Selecao, before he was forced to come off with a muscle injury. The PSG striker is now a major doubt for the France game and his potential absence could really hurt Uruguay’s chances of progressing to the semis.

Team News

Luis Suarez will be fit to play after recovering from a minor knock, but Edinson Cavani is a major doubt for Uruguay.

France

Despite missing a golden opportunity to lift the Euro 2016 title on home soil by losing to Portugal in the final, France returned stronger and they were determined to make things right in Russia. Les Bleus did not exactly impress in the group stage, recording two narrow wins and a draw, but Didier Deschamps’ men appear to have been holding back to ensure they give their best in the knockout stages.

France completely outclassed struggling Argentina in the last 16 stage, and they showed a great deal of character to return from a goal down as Los Albicelestes scored two goals against the run of play after Les Bleus had taken the lead through Antoine Griezmann. With Kylian Mbappe on top of his game, France secured an important triumph and staked their claim for the coveted trophy. The Euro 2016 finalists now face a tough task against in-form Uruguay, but their job will be made easier if Edinson Cavani fails to recover in time.

Team News

With Blaise Matuidi missing through suspension, Corentin Tolisso is expected to start alongside Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante in the middle of the park.

Key Factors to Consider

  • France failed to score in last five meetings with Uruguay
  • La Celeste scored just one goal in those five matches
  • Uruguay won all four games at the 2018 World Cup, conceding one goal
  • France won six of last eight fixtures (D2)
  • Edinson Cavani likely to be missing for Uruguay

Conclusion

Uruguay have done really well so far, but they will struggle to match improving France, especially if Edinson Cavani fails to recover from a muscle injury. Les Bleus have been raising their form of late and we fully expect them to secure their place in the 2018 World Cup semi-final.

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

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