Uruguay not just focusing on Cristiano Ronaldo

Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvan makes the most talked about save of the World Cup so far

Beiranvan makes the most talked about save of the World Cup so far

It promises to be an intriguing match-up between two of the tournament dark horses.

The battle in the dugouts will be just as interesting to watch.

Having swept aside hosts Russian Federation to top their group, Barcelona's Suarez and his Uruguay team mates are taking no chances as they prepare for Portugal, the reigning European champions led by his La Liga rival Cristiano Ronaldo. Even if you score three goals, you need the support of a full team. It is hard to envisage Suarez, Godin, Pepe, Ricardo Quaresma and Edinson Cavani making it to Qatar in 2022 - although Ronaldo's attempt to be a footballing Peter Pan ensures his presence can not be ruled out at age 37.

Godin is an expert at keeping clean sheets, as the leader of an Atletico defence that is the most formidable in the European club game - they kept 34 in all competitions last season - and of a Uruguay side that has not conceded a goal in 2018 in six games.

"It's the team that has to play, if Ronaldo plays alone we're going to lose". Karim Ansarifard's controversial penalty however, combined with Spain's injury time equaliser against Morocco, sent them into the harder half of the draw.

This will be the third encounter between Uruguay and Portugal and their first at the World Cup. He now has seven to Miguez's eight.

The question is whether Ronaldo has it in his locker to tear down Uruguayan walls regardless and add to his tally of four goals, with Portugal's supporting cast hoping their record scorer can dazzle once again in Russian Federation.

"This is a World Cup and of course we're all defending and we're all working for our national teams, and that's the essential aspect".

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Portugal won one and drew two of their three group matches this summer.

Uruguay have reached the last 16 on four occasions since the format was changed in 1982, but they have only progressed beyond this stage once. A less impressive narrow win against Saudi Arabia reduced their chance a little but they go into the knockout phase back on that 5% chance of lifting the World Cup.

When it comes to team news, Uruguay is hoping defender Jose Gimenez will be ready for this one after missing the Russian Federation match with a muscle injury. Portugal beat England in 2006; Uruguay beat Ghana in 2010.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, will look to get back among the goals having had a penalty saved in Portugal's 1-1 draw with Iran. Only Nizhny Novgorod has offered greater entertainment. Oscar Tabarez is the longest-serving global manager. That could mean recalls for Guillermo Varela, Martin Caceres and Cristian Rodriguez, but Nahitan Nandez may have done enough to keep his place.

Uruguay were the only side to come through the group stage in Russian Federation without letting in a goal. Midfielder Rodrigo Bentacur is the man who would miss a potential quarter-final if cautioned. Santos also brought in Andre Silva for Goncalo Guedes for that game but he failed to impress and could be benched once more.

Russian referee Valentin Ivanov issued a World Cup record four red cards and 16 yellows, setting a new high for an worldwide tournament overseen by Federation Internationale de Football Association.

Fernando Santos is lacking another defensive-midfield force akin to Carvalho in his squad, although Joao Moutinho could return alongside Adrien Silva in the engine room after starting on the bench against Russian Federation.

Portugal, too, are prepared to fight hard and, at times, illegally, to get a result.

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