Best Odds: 21/10
We’re finally on the verge of the final set of group stage games, and for many teams, their future is uncertain. Underdogs have a chance of qualifying for the Round of 16, big favourites are on the verge of elimination, and some teams haven’t even played their second games yet. Still, while all of that is going on, Uruguay and Russia can rest easy knowing that their passage into the knockout stages is secure with both teams picking up two wins from their first two games thus far in the tournament.
As is usually the case, Uruguay came into this tournament with a ‘flying under the radar’ kind of mentality. While they’ve got a proven track record on the big stage people have continued to underestimate them, and while they’ve been anything but remarkable, they’ve done what they needed to do thus far. Two 1-0 victories over Egypt & Saudi Arabia have ensured that they’ll be forcing their way into the next round, but you have to question whether or not their killer instinct is still there.
Carlos Sanchez will likely keep his place in the team, whereas it’ll be interesting to see whether or not the boss rests Cavani or Suarez ahead of the knockouts.
The expectations surrounding the Russian national team were extremely low heading into the World Cup, and now, they’re one of the dark horses to go far in the tournament. That’s what confidence will do for you in this game, and following their 5-0 demolition of Saudi Arabia, it was clear to see that they were thriving off of the atmospheres created at their matches. Their 3-1 triumph over Egypt confirmed that they’re a force to be reckoned with, and nobody will want to come up against them as we move forward.
Denis Cheryshev will probably appear in some capacity to please the home fans, with Yuri Zhirkov and Sergei Ignashevich continuing to impress at the back.
Factors to Consider
- In their only international game against each other, Uruguay & Russia drew 1-1 back in 2012.
- Uruguay have won four, drawn one and lost one of their last six games – including a three-game win streak.
- Russia have won two, drawn one and lost three of their last six games – including a two-game win streak.
- Uruguay have scored two goals in their opening two World Cup games, conceding none.
- Russia have scored eight goals in their opening two World Cup games, conceding one.
While logic would suggest that this should be an absolute barnburner of a game, we don’t think it’s going to go down that way. Both Uruguay and Russia know full well that they’re on their way through to the Round of 16, which has taken a great deal of tension away from this game. They’ll both look to be quite conservative, even with Russia’s free-scoring form in the opening two games. We think that both teams will get on the scoresheet, but it’ll end 1-1 to give Russia top spot in Group A.
Best Odds: 21/10
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