2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: Uruguay vs Russia

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Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 31/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Uruguay and Russia will decide which team will finish at the top of the Group A standings. The hosts appear to have a slight edge on paper, but Uruguay can’t be counted out. La Celeste can compete with any team in the world, and they will endure on a tight battle with the hosts, arguably one of the biggest surprises in the 2018 FIFA World Cup thus far. The match will kick off at 15:00 hrs BST. The venue will be Samara Arena.


It has been the same old story for Uruguay on Russian soil: the team does not look convincing and rarely dominates the opposition, but they can still get the job and have clinched a spot in the Round of 16 thanks to back-to-back 1-0 wins over Egypt and Saudi Arabia in their first two matches. Things will get tougher for La Celeste now, however, as Russia will be their toughest test to date, and they have no other alternative but to win the game. Their goal differential of +2 is not really impressive if we compare it to Russia’s +7, so the CONMEBOL giants need to win in order to claim the top spot in Group A. That is not something that should be taken lightly; a win over Russia could probably mean to avoid Spain in the Round of 16. Uruguay have always been a team to watch for in crunch time and if we judge them by their first two performances, that is not going to be any different here. Uruguay deserve respect, and they will demand it against the hosts.

Team News

Manager Oscar Washington Tabarez will make a few changes ahead of this game. Diego Laxalt could start on the left side of the pitch, and Nahitan Nandez could find himself in the starting XI as well. The same goes for Rodrigo Betancur.

There could be an important absence, though, as centre-back Jose Maria Gimenez will miss the game. In fact, further tests will indicate whether the Atletico Madrid star will be able to recover for the remainder of the tournament.


If we focus entirely on the numbers, then there is no discussion: Russia have been the biggest surprise of the 2018 FIFA World Cup thus far. The hosts got off to an impressive start when they defeated Saudi Arabia 5-0, and later dismantled Egypt to the tune of a 3-1 score where the likes of Denis Cheryshev and Pavel Dzyuba once again shone in the biggest stage. Things are about to get tougher for Russia, however, as Uruguay will be their biggest test to date and they have a lot ot play for here. A win or a draw would clinch them the top spot in the Group based on their goal differential, and that could mean to avoid Spain in the Round of 16. Nonetheless, the tournament has already been a success for Russia since they have shown they can compete. But getting a good result against Uruguay would certainly boost their morale ahead of what will likely be a very complicated Round of 16 fixture (probably against Spain or Portugal).

Team News

Russia will field the same starting XI that defeated Egypt the last time.

Alan Dzagoev will be the only absentee. The CSKA Moscow playmaker remains out with a hamstring injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Uruguay’s WC record against European sides in Europe stands at: W4, D3, L6.
  • Russia are unbeaten in their past three matches. In fact, five of their last seven games have featured over 2.5 goals.
  • Four of Uruguay’s last five games have seen a total of under 2.5 goals scored.
  • Uruguay have scored first and kept a clean sheet in each of their last five games.
  • Denis Cheryshev has scored three goals in the first two matches. He is one of the top scorers in the competition so far.


Expect Russia and Uruguay to play a very open game. Both teams will try to get the win in order to claim the top spot in Group A. As such, it is reasonable to imagine over 2,5 goals scored in this one.

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 31/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

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