Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Ronaldo, Suarez put World Cup dreams on line as Portugal face Uruguay

Ronaldo, Suarez put World Cup dreams on line as Portugal face Uruguay

The Uruguayan had thrived against English teams which attempted to crowd him out around the penalty area and his diverse skill-set makes him a prime match-winner.

Yet the Barcelona striker bounced back by hitting the victor to down Saudi Arabia before finding the net again in a 3-0 win over Russian Federation, as Uruguay headed into the knockout rounds with maximum points.

"He is a worldwide star, but you don't prepare for a match thinking about one player, but thinking about the team as a whole".

Santos also warned his side of the quality throughout the Uruguay ranks, from skipper Diego Godin at the back to Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez up front.

The teams will meet at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday in a World Cup Round of 16 game.

"Everybody knows that any team in the world depends on its players, and of course we have one of the best in the world, but you can ask the Uruguay coach the same question about [Luis] Suarez, [Edinson] Cavani - you have great players in every team".

Portugal coach Fernando Santos brushed aside various video assistant referee (VAR) decisions and a sub-par performance from Cristiano Ronaldo to stress his players achieved their main goal in a 1-1 draw with Iran by qualifying for the World Cup last 16. Oscar Tabarez is the longest-serving global manager. "We have our weapons and we're going to try to win". "He defends, commands, scores goals, wins titles, and does not miss a game", said Diego Maradona recently.

Luis Suarez has scored seven World Cup goals for Uruguay, second only to Oscar Miguez (eight) - Suarez scored twice against South Korea in his only previous World Cup appearance in the round of 16, in 2010. Meanwhile, three of Portugal's last four goals have come from outside the box.

This is Fernando Santos' fourth major tournament in a row as manager. The crunch knockout stage could be the last hurrah for Portugal's golden generation while for Uruguay, this World Cup can be the reward of a decade-long tutelage.

Football statisticians Gracenote Sports believe Portugal have a 6% chance of winning the World Cup, while Uruguay's chances are rated at 5%. They are very good at the back, have a couple of excellent forwards and they go from there. "We're there to win". I think this will be the case in this game. They were poor against Iran and I think this is where their tournament ends.

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