France take on Uruguay in the first quarter final on Friday afternoon in Nizhny Novgorod. Didier Deschamps’ team overcame Argentina in a seven-goal thriller in the round of 16, while Uruguay snuck through against Portugal, with two goals coming from Edinson Cavani, who later limped off injured.
Kylian Mbappe was the star for France against Argentina, scoring two as he and his teammates ended Lionel Messi’s dream of winning a W. Cup. However, Didier Deschamps will have to make a key tactical move ahead of Friday’s game, as holding midfielder Blaise Matuidi misses out through suspension. His partnership with N’Golo Kante in midfield enabled Paul Pogba to maximise his effectiveness and gave them stability against Argentina. His absence will likely see Ousmane Dembele come in to replace him and they’ll change their formation as a result.
As for Uruguay, they’ve proven to be one of the most organised and efficient teams in the tournament and they’re incredibly tough to break down, as their record of conceding just one goal in the competition says. The partnership between Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez in defence has been key, as has the partnership upfront between Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, who remains an injury doubt ahead of the quarter final.
Uruguay vs. France Predictions
This is one of the toughest games to predict, but I can just about see Uruguay winning this, but not by a big margin. Their defence is good enough to withstand the French attack, while they can also score some goals of their own. Blaise Matuidi will be a big miss for France and without him, I can’t see them winning.
Uruguay vs. France Betting Tips
- Uruguay to win and both teams to score: 8/1
- Kylian Mbappe to score first: 11/2
- Over 1.5 goals in 1st half: 3/1
Head to Head
- France have won just one of their eight previous meetings with Uruguay (D4 L3), losing the most recent encounter 0-1 in a friendly in June 2013 (Luis Suarez with the goal).
- In W. Cup matches, Uruguay are unbeaten against France (W1 D2), beating them 2-1 in 1966 and drawing 0-0 in both 2002 and 2010.
- This will be Didier Deschamps’ 81st match in France. His first was a 0-0 draw against Uruguay in a friendly in August 2012.
- France are unbeaten in their last nine W. Cup matches against South American sides (W5 D4), keeping a clean sheet in seven of those games.
- Uruguay have won their last four W. Cup matches, last winning five in a row between 1950 and 1954. They’ve never previously won five in a row in the same W. Cup tournament.
- This is Uruguay’s first appearance in the quarter final of the W. Cup since 2010, when they beat Ghana 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
- France have progressed on four of the last five occasions they’ve reached the quarter final stage, with the only exception being a 0-1 defeat against Germany in 2014.
- France have won six of their last seven W. Cup knockout stage matches (excluding the final), losing the other, with all these games being settled in 90 minutes.
- France’s Kylian Mbappe has scored three goals so far this tournament. He’s the first teenager to score this many in a W. Cup campaign since Pele netted six for Brazil in 1958.
- France forward Kylian Mbappe has had five shots at the 2018 W. Cup, with all five going on target and three of them ending up as goals.
- France forward Antoine Griezmann has scored six goals in his last five appearances in the knockout stages of major tournaments (W. Cup and European Championships).
- Each of Uruguay’s last three goals in the 2018 W. Cup have been scored by Edinson Cavani.
Uruguay Team News
Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Martin Campana (Independiente), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Sporting CP), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Maximiliano Pereira (Porto), Gaston Silva (Independiente), Martin Caceres (Lazio), Guillermo Varela (Penarol), Nahitan Nandez (Boca Juniors), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Matias Vecino (Inter Milan), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus), Carlos Sanchez (Monterrey), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro), Diego Laxalt (Genoa), Cristian Rodriguez (Penarol), Jonathan Urretaviscaya (Monterrey), Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders), Gaston Ramirez (Sampdoria), Cristhian Stuani (Girona), Maximiliano Gomez (Celta Vigo), Edinson Cavani (PSG), Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
France Team News
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Adil Rami (Marseille), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)