Uruguay have been widely tipped to go deep at the World Cup and their type of cagey gameplan could be crucial when it comes to stopping Portugal.
La Celeste were unlucky to only draw 0-0 with South Korea on Thursday, while a few hours later, fortune favoured Portugal as they beat Ghana 3-2.
The Selecao looked disjointed in that game and given their greater cohesion, Uruguay could have too much in Lusail.
Portugal vs Uruguay Betting Tips
Portugal boss Fernando Santos is not a coach who likes to tinker but has options to freshen things up, while he may also tweak his shape.
Nuno Mendes could come in at left-back, replacing Raphael Guerreiro, while Rafael Leao’s goalscoring cameo off the bench against Ghana makes him a contender to start in attack.
Santos may also add an extra body in midfield, with Joao Palhinha and William Carvalho coming into the engine room.
For Uruguay, Diego Alonso must decide whether to stick with Luis Suarez in attack. La Celeste’s record goalscorer showed all of his 35 years against South Korea, with him unable to either press the defence or run in behind.
Edinson Cavani provided more threat off the bench and on current form, he and Darwin Nunez look a more complete threat in attack.
Uruguay to win @ 3/1
They might be the underdogs in the betting but Uruguay are a mighty price to upset Portugal in Lusail.
While they drew their opening game with South Korea, both Federico Valverde and Diego Godin hit the crossbar and the latter’s quality when attacking set-pieces could be crucial in a tight game.
La Celeste’s issue could be scoring goals, with Luis Suarez no longer the force he once was and Darwin Nunez, arguably their most dangerous player against the Koreans, spending most of the game out wide.
Even so, Portugal were often chaotic at the back against Ghana and Uruguay do have the historical edge on them, winning 2-1 when they met in the quarter-finals four years ago.
The Selecao are a talented bunch but lack the type of cohesion so often demonstrated by Monday’s rivals.
#PickYourPunt – Ruben Neves to be carded and half-time score to be 0-0 @ 15/2
Regardless of whether Santos looks to stiffen his side, the boss seems to have settled on Ruben Neves as a holding midfielder. Despite Neves’ fabulous range of passing, he sometimes struggles to get around the pitch, leaving him susceptible to giving away free-kicks.
Therefore, the 25-year-old picks up more than his fair share of yellow cards and he has already been cautioned six times this season in the Premier League.
A feature of Portugal’s performance against Ghana was the gaps they left in midfield and Neves could be left exposed.
To boost this as a #PickYourPunt, it could be worth throwing in the half-time score being 0-0.
Both of these sides’ games on Thursday were scoreless at the break and there could be more of the same here.