|(Image from NDTV Sports)
Things really are hotting up now as we progress into the quarter finals of World Cup 2018. Uruguay take on France at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, and boy does it look to be an exhibition for us all.
Uruguay have won every single game up until now, doing so in a solid manner. The football they’ve played has been top drawer throughout, the attacking and defending balance even more so. Especially in the last game against Portugal, we can see that when a team has two world class strikers at their scintillating best, and a rugged defence and midfield, matches are won beautifully.
France meanwhile had more, let’s say resilient wins. The points didn’t come easy but ultimately the sheer class of the French unit showed, putting Les Bleus in the fantastic position that they are in now. The way in which Pogba, Mbappé, Giroud and Griezmann in particular have been superb, and the defence has been dependable and fresh. Real treat to watch, easy on the eye.
Goalkeeper: Fernando Muslera.
The Galatasaray shot stopper is a classy and ever experienced footballer, who has stepped up for his nation pretty well so far.
Defenders: Martin Caceres (RB), Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez (CBs), Diego Laxalt (LB).
Experienced, Atletico Madrid, successful centre backs. Bosh. Couple of full backs who can do the job, and have done during the competition, what more do you want.
Midfielders: Lucas Torreira (CDM), Cristian Rodriguez and Matias Vecino (CMs), Rodrigo Bentancur (CAM).
The youth in this midfield is evident in Torreira, and Bentancur. Nifty players too not to mention, put in a good shift against the Iberian side last time round. The comparable experience of Rodriguez and Vecino is necessary in getting a firm grip on the game, in my opinion, so they’ll give some solidarity when needed.
Forwards: Luis Suarez (RS), Maxi Gomez (LS).
Looks as if Cavani is going to miss out with a strain in his calf, so the young Gomez will have a chance to strut his stuff, and why wouldn’t you be confident when your playing alongside and feeding off arguably the best striker on the planet.
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris.
No explanation needed as to why he’s going to start.
Defenders: Benjamin Pavard (RB), Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane (CMs), Lucas Hernandez (LB).
Pavard has been electric down the right, a hero. Hernandez has done bits, and Umtiti and Varane are standard stuff. A unit of a defence.
Midfielders: Corentin Tolisso, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté (CMs).
Matuidi, Pogba and Kanté are the best midfield trio left in the World Cup in my opinion. Dogged, commanding leaders, complete box to box midfielders who play well off the back of one another. Unfortunately, the Juve midfielder has too many yellow cards to his name, and so it’ll have to be Tolisso filling in, who’s not a bad replacement to be honest.
Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (RF), Olivier Giroud (ST), Kylian Mbappé (LF).
The way Mbappé played was pure brilliance. More of the same please! Griezmann is an ever present flair player, with bags of pace and skill. Giroud’s hold up play and performances have really justified his previous selections in the starting elevens, he’s been second to none at times.
Uruguay 2-3 France. Plenty of goals and character about this game, to watch it unfold we’re just so lucky as viewers. I think France should edge it though, the vibrance they have and the way they’ve been winning time and time again. It’ll be a close call that’s for sure.