FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 – Uruguay vs Russia PREVIEW
Both Uruguay and Russia have already qualified to the next round. While Uruguay done it playing uninspiring but effective football, Russia have done it playing some of the most exciting football of the tournament. However, it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you and both teams are tied with 6 points. Russia have the goal difference advantage, but Uruguay could still take 1st place with a win. It’s going to be a matchup between two styles of football. Will Uruguay’s defensive style pull through, or will Russia edge them with exciting attacking football they’ve shown so far. Uruguay have the better talent, Russia have the home support.
So far Uruguay have not shown the most exciting football, but it has been effective with 2 wins out of 2 games. Uruguay defeated both Egypt and Saudi Arabia by a narrow scored of 1-0. Although they haven’t shown the type of attacking football you’d expect from a team with Suarez and Cavani, they have been one of the best defensive sides with their other world class partnership in Godin and Gimenez at CB. They have completely shut out both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. However the test does get tougher here as they’re facing the red hot Russia who have scored 8 goals in 2 games tied for 1st with Belgium.
Russia have been on fire and this is the type of game Uruguay’s CB partnership thrive on. Godin and Gimenez do bring good experience as a partnership and will be looking to shut out the Russian’s hot attack. A win for Uruguay puts them first, anything else keeps them second which doesn’t really matter because they’d have to face Spain or Portugal most likely anyway. It’s a good game for Uruguay to test themselves and continue to work on their game. The main thing that Uruguay need to improve on is their midfield play because there has been a lack of creativity as other than the set piece deliveries from Carlos Sanchez and some decent moments from Bentancur, Uruguay’s midfield hasn’t been dangerous. Vecino especially has been a huge disappointment so far. We will probably see Uruguay set up defensively again, I mean if they set up defensively against Saudi Arabia, then we can expect the same against a much tougher Russia. Their backline shouldn’t worry anyone, but the midfield play and the strike partnership gotta improve. It’s going to be a good test for Uruguay to face the host nation, they must keep the home crowd out of it because Russia have been thriving on it.
Russia couldn’t have performed any better in this world cup so far. 8 goals in 2 games, absolutely trashed Saudi Arabia 5-0, beat down Egypt 3-1 and have qualified to the next round. It’s a Russian team that nobody expected to do anything, but they have proven everyone wrong so far. Their attack has been red hot even with Dzagoev injured, they’ve been scoring for fun. Golovin has lived up to expectations, Cheryshev has played tremendously scoring 3 goals in 2 games and Dzyuba who has displaced Smolov as the main striker has been a beast with 2 goals and 1 assist. This trio has been very hard to stop. Defensively Russia have also been good, only conceding one goal to a penalty other than that they haven’t allowed their opponents to cut them open even with an ageing defence. Full back and CDM play has also been very good by Russia. Russia have really benefited from their home crowd because whenever they would score a goal or do something exciting, you could just see the boost that the crowd was giving them to go for more. Behind their fantastic crowd, playing great football and with a new hope, Russia will be looking at Uruguay and believing they can beat one of the dark horses of a tournament. What a win that would be?
Uruguay will of course be the toughest opponent Russia have faced. With their top class defence we will truly see how good the likes of Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba really are? Was it just false hope or are they actually for real? Russia’s attack will have to continue to perform the way they have been, maybe even better because Uruguay’s defence is that much more solid than the opponents Russia have faced so far. The home support will be very important for Russia as they’ve been great so far and have given Russia the confidence to play their football. Russia have to continue to play with the same swagger and the same confidence. Uruguay love to defend and will probably set up defensively and try to hit Russia on counters and use set pieces to punish them and with players like Suarez, Cavani going forward and Godin Gimenez attacking the set pieces, Russia will have to be organised. It’s going to be a daunting task trying to break down Uruguay, but surely with the way Russia are playing they can do it? We will truly find out what Russia are all about in this game. Anything other than a loss gets them first place, a loss means they finish 2nd. FInally Golovin needs to make sure to avoid getting booked since he’s been booked and if he does get booked he’ll be suspended for the R16 match which could be a huge blow.
We’ll probably see Russia being on the front foot in this game as mentioned already. Uruguay love to defend and we’ve got to trust them on that. Expect the CB pairing of Godin and Gimenez to take care of business as they tend to do. Uruguay are a much better opposition than what Russia faced so far and we’d expect them to win. Yes, Russia are playing amazing and have the home crowd behind them, but Uruguay are the type of time that can shut a crowd out of the game with their what we could call “boring” play style. All Uruguay they need is one chance to punish their opponents and with the strike force of Cavani and Suarez you wouldn’t bet against them to punish opposition. It will be a close game, but we should expect Uruguay to pick up another narrow 1-0 win. They’ll frustrate Russia and eventually will punish them. Think the magic of Russia will run out in this game.
1 Russia 6 pts +7 GD
2 Uruguay 6 pts +2 GD
3 Egypt 0 pts -3 GD
4 Saudi Arabia 0 pts -6 GD
Odds – Decimal (WilliamHill)
Uruguay Win – 2.50
Draw – 2.90
Russia Win – 3.10
KICK OFF – 25th June 2018 – 3pm UK Time