Uruguay came through their group with maximum points having won all their games without conceding. That will fill their team with confidence, especially after thumping the hosts 3-0 in their last game. Portugal, meanwhile, had a much harder group having Spain in their opening game but after drawing that they went on to remain unbeaten. Interestingly, since 1990, when two top-10 sides in our rankings have gone head-to-head in major tournament knockouts, the draw has occurred 42% of the time. Moreover, Portugal have drawn six of their last seven against this opposition, while Uruguay had a stalemate in their last such match with Argentina.
Both these sides like to play defensive football, building from the back, as Uruguay have kept a clean sheet in all their last six matches, while 14 of their 20 major tournament matches have seen fewer than three goals since the 2011 Copa America. Meanwhile, Portugal have seen ‘unders’ occur in eight of their 10 major competition games dating back to the start of their successful Euro’s in 2016, making this the banker of the game.
With both Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez going head-to-head it’s going to be very interesting to see who comes out on top. However, we’ve sided with the Uruguayan striker, given his side have netted the first of the game in all their last six matches, while three of the four goals he’s scored across these have been the opener. Moreover, the Barcelona forward has eight goals across his last 11 major tournament matches and, being their penalty taker, we’ll get behind him to break the deadlock.