World Cup Preview – Group A | Uruguay v Saudi Arabia

A win for Uruguay against Saudi Arabia will book their place in the last 16 of the World Cup finals with a game to spare.

The Uruguayans claimed a last gasp win over Egypt, but they are clear favourites to beat Saudi who were easily beaten 5-0 in the tournament’s opening clash with Russia.

Despite Urguary’s struggles in their opening match, coach Oscar Tabarez has refused to criticise his squad.

“I’m very happy with the attitude of the team and how they played throughout. Uruguayans wanted the same thing, to win the match. In the history of football we have broken a spell (winning the opening game),” he said.

“We either die or we kill, we have to keep progressing. The work we do all the time is precisely to make our players understand that they have to work harder. The idea is to look to score all the time.”

Uruguay are set to make changes with Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez possibly coming in, and Saudi are also look to name a very different XI.

But coach Juan Antonio Pizzi would not single any players out for blame.

“I’ll try to do as best I can. I trust in our plans and I trust in my players and I trust we’ll have a better performance in our next game,” he said.

See below for a preview on the game, including predictions from former England and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and bet365’s Steve Freeth.

Uruguay 16:00 Saudi Arabia
Rostov Arena, Rostov
Live on BBC

Uruguay: Fernando Muslera; Guillermo Varela, Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Godin, Martin Caceres; Nahitan Nandez, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Cristian Rodriguez; Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani

Saudi Arabia: Mohammed Alowais; Mohammed Alburayk, Osama Hawsawi, Ali Albulayhi, Yasser Alshahrani; Salem Aldawsari, Abdullah Otayf, Salman Alfaraj, Taiseer Aljassam, Yahia Alshehri; Fahad Almuwallad

KEY FACT:  Luis Suarez will win his 100th cap in this game if he plays
Match odds from bet365: URUGUAY  1/6 Draw 15/2 SAUDI 20/1
bet365 Pick: Cavani first goal @5/2
ANDY SAYS: I don’t see Uruguay running away with this, I think they will make hard work of it…2-1
GRAEME SAYS: Saudi can’t get any worse, but they won’t be taking anything from this game…3-0
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Edinson Cavani – He should get off the mark here and is one to watch as he represents good value on the Index.

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