This one should be a tasty second game in the knockout phase of the World Cup.
Uruguay go into this one on the back of three wins and three clean sheets from their group games, while Portugal were made to squirm through Group B in second place, and they will need Cristiano Ronaldo at top form if they are going to make it through in Sochi on Saturday.
Uruguay are a savvy outfit that know how to grind out results, with the trio of Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez and Luis Suarez being supreme experts in the art of winning at all costs. The Ronaldo factor should be considered, but a fourth straight World Cup clean sheet looks like a strong bet at 8/5 with Coral.
Portugal themselves are no mugs at the back, and had it not been for the farcical penalty decision in their draw against Iran on Monday they would be boasting a record of two clean sheets from their three group B games. Expect this game to be extremely tight. One goal will probably settle it, and that will suit you down to the ground if you back under 1.5 goals at 11/8 with William Hill.
The more I study this game, the more I’m inclined to favour the draw over 90 minutes at 9/5 with Ladbrokes. The cliché of football matches being like games of chess rings particularly true with this one, with both sides featuring players with big-game experience for their club sides – such games traditionally being cagey affairs with little given away.
If you love a good fairytale then look no further than Ronaldo as the man to write another chapter in his legacy with a winner that will haul his side into the quarter-finals. CR7 loves to have the final say on these sorts of games, after scoring the final goal in Real Madrid’s Champions League win over an Atletico Madrid side featuring Uruguay captain Godin, as well as the final penalty in a shootout win against Atleti two years later. If omens are your thing, then think about backing Ronaldo to score the last goal at 16/5 with William Hill.
This will be by no means a classic, but is the second of what promises to be an intriguing opening day of knockout World Cup football. This could go all the way to penalties, and if it does, my money is on the Portuguese. A Portugal win on penalties is as high as 10/1 with Hills.