Uruguay vs Portugal: Soares backs Ronaldo to see off Suarez and Cavani

Sherman Parsons
June 30, 2018

But the Barcelona forward played down any rivalry with Real Madrid star Ronaldo, saying the FIFA World Cup and global football was a completely different story.

"The important thing is to think about the [round of 16] match, think about the game, get to know your adversaries and then to get well prepared mentally and physically, regardless of it being Uruguay or the hosts", Santos said of his team's progress.

Uruguay are hopeful Jose Maria Gimenez will return from injury to resume his centre-back partnership with Atletico Madrid team-mate Diego Godin.

"We will study them".

And after 12 years in charge of the team, Tabarez believes Uruguay are a contender to win the competition. "When we attack we need to be able to attack, but it doesn't come from an abstract suggestion".

"The match will be defined by details and we will try to limit their forwards".

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Well over 30 games into the World Cup in Russian Federation and goals have been a certainty in all the matches played so far. There is still a chance any of Japan, Senegal and Colombia could finish first or second, while Poland are already out.

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Uruguay centre-back Jose Gimenez is expected to return to the starting line-up after missing the match against Russian Federation.

2-time former World Cup winners Uruguay started off their campaign with hard earned 1-0 victory Egypt courtesy of 89th-minute victor by Jose Gimenez. Gimenez has returned to training and could be available to play against Portugal and his familiar Real Madrid adversary.

Uruguay has won all their matches at the 2018 World Cup and head into Saturday's last-16 tie against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal as slight favourites in Sochi.

Portugal survived a late scare against Iran on Monday, as Ronaldo missed a penalty and was fortunate to escape a red card for an elbow. At 33 he is enjoying the best World Cup of his career and his goal against Morocco in the group stage took his tally at worldwide level to 85, more than any other male European player in history.

Penalty shootouts excluded, Portugal have lost only one of their last 17 games at major tournaments (W8 D8), a 4-0 defeat against Germany at Brazil 2014.

Uruguay is the only remaining side in this World Cup yet to concede a goal.

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