The Teams’ Routes to the World Cup
Surprisingly it was not until 1966 when the Portuguese first qualified for the World Cup finals in England. They arrived with a bang and made their best finish in a tournament when they ended the competition in 3rd place, with greats such as Eusebio playing for them. It took another 20 years before Portugal qualified for their 2nd World Cup finals appearance in 1986 at Mexico. Since the turn of this century, Portuguese football has considerably strengthened and they continue to turn out high-quality and exciting individuals. Since Japan and South Korea hosted the 2002 World Cup, Portugal has qualified for 6 consecutive World Cups once they reach Qatar. In the German World Cup of 2006, Portugal managed to finish in 4th place after they were knocked out in the semi-final by a Zinedine Zidane penalty, as France went on to finish runners-up. At the 2018 Russian World Cup, Portugal was knocked out in the round of 16 after Edinson Cavani scored a brace for Uruguay as the game ended 2 – 1. Portugal made their own lives difficult in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup having finished 2nd in their World Cup qualification group, they had to beat Turkey and North Macedonia in the playoffs to reach Qatar.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be the 14th time Uruguay has qualified for the finals. They are 2-time winners and the inaugural winners of the tournament when it was held on home soil back in 1930. In that final, they beat South American arch-rivals Argentina 4 – 2 and the top scorer for Uruguay in the competition was Pedro Cea with 5 goals. Uruguay did not enter the World Cup again until 1950. For the second time and in two attempts they won the World Cup again. It was 1950 in Brazil and in the final, they beat the host nation 2 – 1. Óscar Miguez was the top scorer for Uruguay with 5 goals. Since 1950, Uruguay has finished in 4th place on 3 occasions, the last time in South Africa in 2010. In the Russian 2018 World Cup, Uruguay reached the quarter-finals where they were knocked out 2 – 0 by France, the eventual winners. To qualify for the 2022 World Cup, Uruguay finished 3rd in the CONMEBOL qualification group which was enough to see them book their tickets to Qatar.
The two teams have played a competitive international match on three occasions and honours are even. Portugal and Uruguay won one game each and the other match ended in a draw. Portugal will remember the last time they met as they lost 2 – 1 in the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup held in Russia.
Current Odds at mr.play
The final round of Group H games is massive and it will prove difficult to predict which team will win each game. Here at mr.play you can place a bet on which team will win the match or if the game will end in a draw. Portugal is seen as the slightly more favoured team to win their match and you can currently get odds of 109/100. Uruguay’s odds are much longer than those offered for Portugal, with a win priced at 13/5. If you are expecting there will be nothing between the teams, then you can opt for the outcome to be a draw and gain odds at 23/10. Be sure to keep checking the odds for Portugal versus Uruguay and all the other betting markets in the lead-up to the World Cup, right here at mr.play.
Team Overviews & Player Profiles
World Cups are where stars can be born and Portugal may have unearthed another gem of a player in Rafael Leão. He is contracted to AC Milan where he has made 96 appearances scoring 23 goals and he is still only 23 years old. He contributed to them winning Serie A in 2020/2021 and won the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award. At 6ft 2 in (188cm) he can play across the front line and in particular, will cause most problems on either flank with his acceleration, pace, dribbling and skill. Having played through all the youth levels with Portugal from under 16 to under 21 he has now made 9 senior appearances. While the Uruguayans are looking after Ronaldo, Jota and Bernado, perhaps Rafael Leão will go under the radar and be the difference for Portugal.
There will be quite a few experienced and world-class stalwarts playing in this fixture and perhaps it will be an opportunity for a younger player to set the world alight. Nuno Mendes is a 20-year-old attacking left full-back who will run at the opposition with the ball at speed and deliver pinpoint crosses. He has recently joined Paris Saint-Germain having won the Portuguese Primeira Liga 2020/2021 with Sporting Lisbon and being included in the league Team of the Year. Playing against Uruguay will add to his current 15 international caps and maybe a chance to shine against ageing defensive legs.
To beat the Portuguese, goals are vital as you can expect them to be piling on the pressure on your goalkeeper and defence. Uruguay has two wily and high-profile, experienced attacking players at their disposal, Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani. Suárez has been classed as one of the best forwards in the world with his exceptional shooting, technical ability and knack for creating goals. He has vast experience playing internationally at club level with over 100 appearances for Ajax, Liverpool and Barcelona which has brought him league titles in the Eredivisie and La Liga. He is the all-time top goal-scorer for Uruguay with 68 goals coming from 132 appearances which makes him the 4th most capped player for the country.
Together with Suárez, Edinson Cavani will be full of tricks and guile that would cause all national teams defensive headaches. While Cavani needs to secure a new contract with a club at 35 years of age he will still be going to the 2022 World Cup unless he decides to retire. That said, he will surely want to represent his country in one more major tournament and in 2022 he has scored 5 international goals in 7 appearances. Playing as a striker he is nicknamed the ‘Bullfighter’ with his terrific ability to create space with his movement and his first touch. He has one more cap than Luis Suárez with 133 and he is the second highest goal-scorer for Uruguay with 58 goals.
A Potential Highlight of the World Cup
This is the game to watch in Group H and you will surely be glued to the screen taking in the action of two of the best European and South American national teams. Portugal will be favourites for the tie with their big-name players but you cannot write off the World Cup pedigree of Uruguay. There is potentially a huge amount riding on this match and it will be interesting to see the approaches taken by each time. Whichever team you will be backing or whichever betting market you want to explore, you will find all that you need for Portugal versus Uruguay right here at mr.play.