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The unstoppable force of France meets the immovable object Uruguay

Last updated: July 3, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Friday, 15:00pm
Venue: Nizhny Novgorod
Coverage: BBC 1
Home Team Form: WWWWW
Away Team Form: DWWDW
Last Meeting: Uruguay 1 – 0 France
Competition: FIFA World Cup

The 2018 World Cup in Russia marches on to the quarter-finals. Once we all catch our breath and recover from England’s tense penalty shoot-out win against Colombia last night, we can look forward to the action restarting on Friday, with a cracking match-up between Uruguay and France.

Uruguay know France will be the favourites here, but they have an immovable object sense about them with the best defence in the tournament currently, having conceded just one goal in four games. Diego Godin is the man that leads the backline. The Athletico Madrid defender is a rock and he will be tasked with the unenviable task of dealing with Kylian Mbappe and co. But that’s not to say that Uruguay are weak elsewhere. To the contrary, the strike-force of Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani is as good as it gets. Those two have played together for their country their whole careers and it shows. Suárez set up Cavani for a sublime header for Uruguay’s first goal against Portugal, while Cavani’s first time finish for his second and match-winning goal was sublime.

The caveat – and there usually is one – is that Cavani limped off late into that win against Portugal. The team’s doctors have concerned that it’s nothing serious, but Cavani has been photographed limping around since. It seems unlikely he will start then which will seriously weaken Uruguay’s sting up-front.

France have no injuries to worry about and with perhaps the best squad on paper in the tournament, Didier Deschamps has but the agony of choice. Rotate his team may though, with many players, including Olivier Giroud, on yellow cards. One player sure to start is youngster Kylian Mbappé. The 19 year old stole the show and tore apart Argentina in France’s 4-3 win last week. His speed could be the weapon that undoes Uruguay just as it did Argentina, but France will know that Uruguay are much more disciplined and organised in the back and unlikely to get caught out so easily.

France are many people’s team to win it, but they have flattered to deceive a little so far. When they do turn on the charm – like in the second half against Argentina – they are an irresistible force that can sweep teams away in an instant. Frustratingly it took falling a goal behind to wake the team up and play to their potential really for the first time in the tournament. But up their game now they must. This is an incredibly tricky fixture and should they win a semi-final against the bookie’s favourite, Brazil, or the mighty Belgium awaits. The tournament really starts right here for France.


Team News

Edison Cavani limped off in the win against Portugal but it has been confirmed that the striker has not torn a muscle and should be fit. Still, it’s doubtful that he will start the match.

Uruguay have the best defence in the tournament so far and the good news is that they are fully fit there.

France have a fully fit side and will surely start Kylian Mbappé, though Blaise Matuidi is suspended.

Olivier Giroud has been edging out Ousmane Dembele for a starting place, but it will be interesting to see which option Deschamps feels will work best against Uruguay’s organised defence.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Uruguay (4-4-2): Muslera, Cáceres, Giménez, Godin, Laxalt, Torreira, Nández, Vecino, Bentancur, Suárez, Stuani
Subs: Varela, Sanchez, Rodriguez, de Arrascaeta, Cavani, Campaña, G Silva, Pereira, Gomez, Coates, Urretaviscaya, M Silva
Injured:
Doubtful: Cavani
Not available:
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France (4-3-3): Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernández, Pogba, Kante, Mbappé, Griezmann, Matuidi, Giroud
Subs: Kimpembe, Lemar, Dembélé, Tolisso, N’Zonzi, Mandanda, Rami, Fekir, Sidibe, Thauvin, Mendy, Areola
Injured:
Doubtful:
Not available: Matuidi

Head to Head

Last 5 Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
05/06/2013 Uruguay 1 – 0 France International Friendly Suarez 50′
15/08/2012 France 0 – 0 Uruguay International Friendly
11/06/2010 Uruguay 0 – 0 France FIFA World Cup
19/11/2008 France 0 – 0 Uruguay International Friendly
06/06/2002 France 0 – 0 Uruguay FIFA World Cup

Conclusion & Betting Tips

These two teams have met many times since the turn of the millennium. Remarkably, four of the last five meetings spanning back to 2002 have finished goalless. Make of that what you will but we think it’s unlikely that no goals will be scored in this match.

That said, Uruguay will make it hard for France to break them down. The best defence in the tournament is coming against perhaps the best attack and it could turn out to be a battle of attrition that is won with one decisive blow. It’s tough, but we think that France should now be inspired to play how they finished their last match and will just have enough to win it in normal time. France to win is our shout then, which you can get for a great price at Mansion Bet.