Uruguay take on hosts Russia knowing they have to win to top Group A – potentially avoiding a tie with Spain in the last 16. The South Americans have failed to convince despite picking up six points from their opening two games, with their performance against Saudi Arabia last time out very disappointing. Nevertheless, there is a feeling that the side played within themselves and with the quality they have on the pitch, particularly up front, Uruguay are a dangerous opponent for anyone.
However, they will have it tough against Russia who have arguably been the surprise team in the tournament. The hosts were not rated at all before a ball was kicked but have won their two games in style, 5-0 against Saudi Arabia and 3-1 against Egypt. Their superior goal difference means they can draw the game in Samara and still top the group.
Here we will give you Uruguay vs Russia betting tips, look at where the game will be won, the key players and a Uruguay vs Russia prediction for the Group A encounter.
Our Uruguay vs Russia Prediction: Uruguay 1-0 Russia
Our Uruguay vs Russia prediction tips is for the South American side to edge what will be a tight encounter and squeeze through as group winners.
Oscar Tabarez’ men were dark horses for many experts heading to Russia and it was easy to see why. Defensive duo Jose Gimenez and particularly Diego Godin are formidable whilst the front two of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are arguably the best in the tournament. Godin has been magnificent so far but the strikers haven’t really delivered, yet the quality is undoubted. They are a different level to the players Russia have faced before and it could show.
For Russia, they’ve already achieved their objective of qualifying and they will be so confident given the manner of their victories. They have played great, attacking football and have united the nation who did doubt them but Uruguay are a step up as mentioned. They should be able to deal with the physical threat of Artem Dzyuba and that could mean the hosts struggle to create clear cut chances.
Our recommended tip – Uruguay to win
Whilst Russia deserve huge credit for the way they’ve played, the reality is Saudi Arabia and Egypt are poor sides. The hosts may lose their edge knowing qualification is secured and that could be key.
Uruguay have quality all over the park and Cavani and Suarez are the matchwinners. There movement, intelligence and ruthlessness in the final third is too much for most nations to handle and they will trouble Russia all afternoon. The South Americans have ambitions to go deep in this tournament and will want to win the group to avoid playing Spain.
This is just the second meeting between the two nations and it will be their first competitive game. The two met back in 2012 with the game ending in a draw.
As for their recent form, Uruguay continue to win and keep clean sheets, it’s now five successive wins to nil, but they haven’t convinced. The Saudi Arabia performance was particularly awful but you get the feeling that this is a side that are prepared to just win and have little interest in how they come across. Ultimately, they know how to win and will look to continue that form.
Meanwhile, Russia have been excellent. They went into the tournament on a seven-game winless run but have recorded two emphatic wins. The players know their roles, are well organised and the likes of Aleksandr Golovin and Denis Cheryshev have added real quality behing target man Dzyuba.
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Players to watch – Edinson Cavani & Aleksandr Golovin
The PSG man is yet to score at this World Cup but he is one of the most lethal strikers in the world. His strike partner Luis Suarez steals the headlines most of the time but Cavani will be desperate to leave his mark on the world stage as this could well be his last World Cup. The 31-year old is one of the best all rounded strikers on the planet with his movement, work rate and ability to score all types of goals and will look to get off the mark in Samara.
Golovin is the youngest player in Russia’s squad but has probably been the best player. He has scored one goal already so far and made several others, and will look to add to that against Uruguay in this winner takes all game for the group. He is the perfect link between midfield and attack, capable of running at the defence and playing the key passes.