The Navigators are heading into the match on the back of a thrilling 3-2 victory over Ghana in their opening match of the tournament on Thursday, while Uruguay were held to a goalless draw by South Korea, on the same day.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will be looking to seal their passage into the knockout stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup when they take on Uruguay in a Group H fixture at the Lusail Stadium on Monday night. The Navigators are heading into the match on the back of a thrilling 3-2 victory over Ghana in their opening match of the tournament on Thursday, while Uruguay were held to a goalless draw by South Korea, on the same day. Both teams know that a defeat here could complicate matters for them, and they will be determined to secure all three points.
It’s 𝗠𝗔𝗧𝗖𝗛𝗗𝗔𝗬! 💚💛❤️
Prontos para o jogo com o 🇺🇾! 💪 Ready for our game against 🇺🇾! 💪 #VesteABandeira #WearTheFlag #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/LWKPp5PnVY
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Portugal boss Fernando Santos is unlikely to make too many alterations to the side that got the job done against the Black Stars. The 68-year-old tactician is expected to continue with the 4-3-3 formation. Ronaldo, who opened the scoring against Ghana and became the first male footballer to score in five World Cup finals, is likely to spearhead the attack, with Rafael Leao and Joao Felix in support. Ruben Neves would continue to sit in front of the back-four, allowing Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes to play in a more attacking role. With Leao coming in to the left flanks, and Felix occupying the opposite flank, Fernandes might go into a slightly deeper role in the midfield. The Selection have lots of pace and quality in their attacking department.
As for Uruguay, they are also not short of quality up front, with the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani having scored a combined total of 126 goals for the nations side. Meanwhile, since both of them are on the wrong side of 30’s it’s unlikely to see them start together as we have been used to over the years. Suarez didn’t have a great outing against South Korea, therefore Cavani might lead the line, with Liverpool-man Darwin Nunez and Pellistri occupying the flanks. Nunez is a natural centre-forward, who might be deployed on the left channel, but Cavani’s inclusion will allow the 21-year-old to interchange positions with the veteran if needed. Meanwhile, the Portuguese centre-back Pepe is 39-years-old and Uruguay’s front-three have more than enough pace to test the former Real Madrid-man. Considering the attacking talent of both the teams, it’s likely to be a high-scoring game.
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Portugal centre-back Danilo Pererira fractured his ribs during training and has been ruled out for the remaining group fixtures. Porto-man Pepe is the most likely candidate to replace Danilo at the heart of the defence. Midfielder Otavio, who took a knock against Ghana in the previous outing might drop to the bench, with Leao coming in to replace him in the starting eleven. As for Uruguay, head coach Diego Alonso is unlikely to make too many changes to the playing eleven that started against South Korea. Bentancur, Federico Valverde and Matias Vecino might form the minefield-trio.
Portugal possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Costa, Cancelo, Dias, Perreira, Guerreiro, Silva, Fernandes, Neves, Felix, Ronaldo, Leao
Uruguay probable starting lineup (4-3-3): Rochet, Caceres, Godin, Gimenez, Olivera, Valverde, Vecino, Bentancur, Pellistri, Cavani, Nunez