Uruguay vs Portugal match preview | Round of 16 | 2018 World Cup

Two-time champions with a rich history, Uruguay, face current European champions Portugal, with a match against France or Argentina awaiting the victor.

This is the third tournament in succession that Uruguay have reached the knockout phase, while Portugal’s own progression represents a continued upward curve after the nation’s failure to progress in the 2014 World Cup (WC).

Uruguay however, come into this one as the only side in the tournament yet to concede a goal, having most recently trounced hosts Russia 3-0.

Portugal’s last game gives less cause for encouragement. As expected, the Euro 2016 winners controlled large portions of their final group game (with Iran) but a VAR-assisted penalty equaliser for Iran can only affect Portuguese self-belief for the worse.

Players to watch

Though Portugal’s failure to beat Iran was irksome, Cristiano Ronaldo has an unlimited supply of self-belief, and – as always – this will radiate across the dressing room.

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani will be as problematic as ever. Both men scored, either side of a Denis Cheryshev own-goal, in their last outing.

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