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29 Jun 2018

Uruguay vs Portugal: 5 things to look forward to

Reuters/DYLAN MARTINEZ

Do not expect a thriller. Uruguay and Portugal are not afraid of doing whatever is necessary to win, and their last 16 meeting is not likely to be a feast of offensive football.

It will, though, be an interesting tactical encounter. Both sides adopt similar formations, and approach games with the aim of remaining compact and defensively sound. Both depend heavily on the form of their forward players too.

Uruguay comfortably topped Group A, seeing off Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt without conceding a goal. There were question marks over their performances in the first two games, but Oscar Tabarez's side improved significantly to beat Russia 3-0 in their final game.

Portugal, meanwhile, did not progress so convincingly. A draw in their final game against Iran meant they finished second to Spain, but they had to endure a nervy finish after conceding a late penalty.

The suggestion remains that they are too reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo. He has scored four of their five goals at this World Cup. Portugal continues to avoid defeat though it might often seem more by luck than design. They will be looking to replicate what they achieved at Euro 2016.

Here are five things to look forward to when Uruguay meet Portugal: