URUGUAY v PORTUGAL
Live on ITV. Saturday June 30, kick-off 7pm
THE battle lines are drawn for a war of attrition when these two sides fight it out for a place in the last eight.
It may not be one for the purists but the potential for shithousery is huge with a couple of fascinting tussle in particuar – Pepe v Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo v Diego Godin should see sly digs, rolling around the floor and plenty of niggle.
Uruguay won Group A after slowly growing into the tournament. Uninspiring 1-0 wins over Egypt and Saudi Arabia were followed by a tweak of formation and 3-0 tonking of Russia where the South Americans clicked into gear and they head into this one as slight favourites at 19-10 with Betfair compared to the 2-1 offered by bet365 on Portugal.
Suarez and Cavani remain one of the most dangerous strike double acts in the game while Godin and Atletico Madrid team-mate Jose Gimenez – set to return after missing the Russia game with injury – are the bedrock of a super stingy Uruguay backline that's yet to concede a goal at these finals.
Portugal started with a bang, Cristiano Ronaldo hitting a hat-trick in the 3-3 draw with Spain, before a 1-0 win over Morocco and 1-1 draw with Iran booked their last-16 spot.
They'll again hinge their hopes on Ronaldo – if Uruguay can stop him they may well stop Portugal's chances of progressing. Judging by both teams' preference of keeping it tight and hitting on the break, goals should be at a premium and it could well be settled in extra time or a shootout.
- Draw (2-1, BetVictor)
- No goalscorer (27-5, 10bet)
- Match to be decided on penalties (4-1, Boylesports)