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Should France be Such a Big Favorite Against Uruguay?

The World Cup quarterfinals get off to a terrific start when Uruguay and France meet at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in a match in which oddsmakers are favoring Les Bleus – possibly unfairly. La Celeste has been the most consistent team at this tournament and they’ve got a more than realistic shot of knocking off the French.

With Uruguay installed as +340 moneyline underdogs at Bovada, this might be the most undervalued a team has been at the 2018 World Cup. Yes, France will be their stiffest test to date but as yet, there have been no chinks in the Uruguayan armor and their +170 odds to advance to the semis are well tempting.

  • Uruguay and France have had 4 nil-nil draws in 5 meetings (in all competitions) since 2002.
  • Edinson Cavani (Uruguay’s top goalscorer) is questionable with a calf injury.
  • Uruguay has won 7 straight games and France is unbeaten in 8 straight games.

Coming back at EVEN on the moneyline, the French are the better side – on paper – with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann all fit for the quarterfinal match.

Speaking of fitness, Uruguay’s leading scoring Edinson Cavani could be forced to miss the fixture after he was forced out of The Sky Blue’s Round of 16 match with a damaged calf. This would obviously be a huge blow to Uruguay’s chances of moving on and is the likely reason for the odds being so heavily in favor of the French.

The total for this one is at 2 with the UNDER priced at -120 and when you consider how these teams have played each other in recent meetings, that line makes a whole lot of sense.

Are we in Store for a Pitchers’ Duel?

Playing to four nil-nil draws in five meetings since 2002, Uruguay and France have kept things extremely close to the vest when facing off and with Uruguay’s main strength stemming from their Atleti-powered central defense, I would expect more of the same on Friday.

If Cavani is forced to miss out, Uruguay will likely play not to lose because if they try to match firepower with France, they’re going to lose. Ask anyone who watched France-Argentina and they’ll tell you the same thing.

The Argentines tried to swap chances with the French but they were unable to deal with the blinding pace of Mbappe on the counter and were caught with their pants down on more than a few occasions.

That said, a backline consisting of Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez, Diego Laxalt and Martin Caceres has been miles ahead of any other unit at the World Cup so Uruguay can afford to take a few chances when scoring opportunities are presented.

Both Sides are in Sparkling Form

Possibly the two hottest teams at the World Cup, Uruguay and France have both gone long stretches since losing and La Celeste has won seven straight.

That said, the French have shown some warts at this tournament and their laissez-faire attitude at the death of their Round of 16 match nearly cost them advancement. Luis Suarez is still one of the best strikers in the world and if France coughs up too many chances, you know he’ll find the back of the net.

French manager Didier Deschamps will have to get the tactics right in this one because he’ll be standing on the touchline next to an absolute legendary coach in Oscar Tabarez. Uruguay has been feasting on the deficiencies of other teams and they’ll do the same against France if they come out unprepared for this quarterfinal.

Best Bet for Uruguay vs France

Given the propensity of these teams for nil-nils, a bet on this thing to go to extra time at +220 wouldn’t be the most ludicrous shout but I am far too excited by Uruguay’s moneyline not to take it.

Bet on the 2018 World Cup here