Portugal's Ronaldo faces tough Uruguay defence

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

"Even if he scores three goals in match, you still need to have a team to support him".

But the 3rd match against Russian Federation saw why the Uruguayans have the best forward line-up in the World as Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani fired one each in between a Denis Cheryshev own goal to register a convincing 3-0 victory against the host nation as they qualified as group toppers from group A. We want to achieve this at the World Cup. It has been like that for the whole of 2018.

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.

La Celeste have yet to allow a goal, their back line anchored by captain Diego Godin and his Atletico Madrid teammate Jose Maria Gimenez, who missed the squad's final group game against Russian Federation with a thigh injury.

2-time former World Cup winners Uruguay started off their campaign with hard earned 1-0 victory Egypt courtesy of 89th-minute victor by Jose Gimenez.

Uruguay captain Diego Godin is the leader of the only defence yet to concede a goal in the World Cup and the Atletico Madrid defender's wealth of experience in facing Cristiano Ronaldo will come in handy in his side's last 16 clash with Portugal. Tabarez had devised his successful tactical system at a time when Uruguay did not boast of quality central midfielders, but the emergence of the likes of Vecino and Bentancur has comforted the veteran manager. We are going to have to work collectively, but we don't lose sleep over this.

"The important thing is to think about the [round of 16] match, think about the game, get to know your adversaries and then to get well prepared mentally and physically, regardless of it being Uruguay or the hosts", Santos said of his team's progress.

Penalty shoot-outs excluded, Portugal have lost only one of their last 17 games at major tournaments (won eight, draw eight), a 4-0 defeat against Germany at the 2014 World Cup. Meanwhile, three of Portugal's last four goals have come from outside the box.

If he plays, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (37) will equal Bastian Schweinsteiger (38) as the player with the most appearances at World Cups + European Championships. They are very good at the back, have a couple of excellent forwards and they go from there. We've shown we have the chance to win and if we keep it up this way I think we'll be successful.

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