Round of 16: Uruguay vs Portugal 2018 World Cup Betting Preview

Posted by Derrick Harper on June 29, 2018 in

The reigning European champions Portugal will look to move into the quarterfinals of the 2018 World cup when they face Uruguay in the Round of 16 on Saturday in Sochi, Russia. The winner will have a date in the quarterfinals lined up against either France or Argentina. The betting lines on this game are almost dead even, with Uruguay listed at +172 and Portugal set at +196 at the latest 2018 World Cup Betting Odds.

Round of 16: Uruguay vs Portugal 2018 World Cup Betting Preview

Uruguay

The South Americans were impressive during the group stage, winning all three of their matches while outscoring their opponents 5-0. Of course, it’s worth noting that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and a relaxed Russia team didn’t provide much of a challenge. Uruguay, as many would have expected, remained stout defensively during the group stage.

However, many would have thought the striker tandem of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez would have provided a few more fireworks. The pair has combined for three goals in three games, which is good, but outside of Cavani in the opener against Egypt, neither has been in particularly good form.

Of course, Uruguay will likely focus on its defense first and trust that Cavani and Suarez can eventually make something happen at the other end. The center back partnership of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez has been strong, and they should be since they also play together at Atletico Madrid.

That also means they will be familiar with Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the primary threat the Portuguese side presents, having scored four of his team’s five goals. If Godin and Gimenez can contain Ronaldo, the odds will sway in Uruguay’s favor.

Portugal

Portugal definitely leaned on Ronaldo to carry them through the group stage. They needed a free kick from him in the dying minutes of their opener to salvage a tie against Spain. Against Morocco, an early Ronaldo goal held up despite the Moroccans being the better team for much of that game.

Portugal was also a little fortunate to escape with a draw in their clash with Iran. With an unimpressive win and two draws during the group stage, Portugal has a lot to prove as they move into the knockout stage.

Portugal comes in as slight 2018 World Cup Betting underdog against Uruguay.

Against Uruguay, Portugal will need their center back pair of Jose Fonte and Pepe to hold up against Cavani and Suarez. In their opener, Portugal allowed Spanish striker Diego Costa to score two goals, followed by two games against teams that played with only a lone striker.

Against Uruguay, the aging duo of Fonte and Pepe will have the difficult task of shutting down two world-class strikers. Portugal will likely make tactical adjustments to help keep Uruguay’s strikers contained, but that may not leave support for Ronaldo pushing forward.

Prediction

Ronaldo has been a one-man team for Portugal for many years, and he’s helped them accomplish some great things. But at this stage of the World Cup, Ronaldo is going to need some support. Portugal is fortunate to have made it this far on Ronaldo’s back, but this could be the end of the line. Uruguay is both defensively savvy and has multiple goal scorers up front. They will be the better team. Uruguay 3, Portugal 1.