The first quarter-final of World Cup 2018 is the only one featuring two former champions. Uruguay, champions in 1930 and 1950, take on France, who won the trophy in 1998. Here are five things to know about the match and a prediction of how it will finish.
With exits that have baffled viewers worldwide, the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia has proven to be a definite thriller. With exists of giants like Spain, Portugal, Argentina and of course the defending champions Germany and Brazil barely hanging in there, this quarterfinal is going to ensure that every other work is put on hold.
The first quarterfinal of this cliff-hanger World Cup is to be played between Uruguay, who have clinched the Cup twice in 1930 and 1950, and France who have been the champions in 1998. This, interestingly is the only match in this World Cup 2018 which is to be played between two former world champions.
The match which will be aired on 6th of July at 7:30 pm will see clashes all over the field in a span of 90 unforgettable minutes; but to make the task a little more interesting for the viewers, we have compiled a list of why we think this will be an unforgettable match:
Kylian Mbappé vs. Diego Godín should be a great battle:
Fine wine tastes better with age, but at only 19, Kylian Mbappé has gone ahead to prove why he is the second most expensive player at the World Cup! The young firecracker in his match against Argentina in showed how his electric pace and direct running was too much for Argentina’s defence, and the teenager scored twice in a manner that overshadowed a great such as Lionel Messi himself.
Uruguay has brought its best defensive game to the field throughout the Tournament. With only one goal conceded throughout the tournament, La Celeste have been an impenetrable wall primarily because the Uruguay Captain Godín has been the wiliest defender in the business.
Edinson Cavani might not play:
The player who contained the tornado CR7 was, Cavani was a man on a mission in the match against Portugal in the Round of 16! However, the end of the match also saw Cavani limping out of the field, assisted by Ronaldo, due to calf injury which has casted doubts on him starting to work his magic on the field early. With his strike partnership with Luis Suarez so crucial to the team’s success, his appearance will be something Uruguay fans would be wishing for with all their heart.
Paul Pogba is under pressure:
France so far in the tournament, discounting its performance against Argentina, has failed to impress and while the pressure of a quarter-final is on every player, Pogba has been accused of missing out on important games in the past and this coupled with his prodigious talent will dial up the pressure on him. However, with Blaise Matuidi sitting out of this game, Les Bleus might adopt a more attacking stance to which Pogba is more attuned to.
Several players are walking a suspension tightrope:
With Matuidi sitting out in the game because of one yellow card too many, fellow France midfielders Pogba and Corentin Tolisso will miss a potential semi-final if they are booked, as will striker Olivier Giroud and right-back Benjamin Pavard. Remarkably for a team with a tenacious reputation, Uruguay have received just one yellow card in the tournament, given to midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.
Both teams are in great form but Uruguay have the historical edge:
Uruguay have won seven matches in a row and France have lost once in their last 16 matches. For what it’s worth, in their previous three World Cup meetings two ended goalless and Uruguay won the other - but it was in 1966. Their last meeting, in 2013, was a 1-0 home friendly win for Uruguay. France have more experience with the soccer player's most feared beast – a penalty shootout. They have won two and lost two (including the 2006 final) in World Cups, while Uruguay have a 100 per cent record, triumphing in their only tournament shootout, against Ghana in 2010.
In conclusion, this match will lessen your nails by a couple of centimetres!
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Last Updated 5, Jul 2018, 6:08 PM