Cristiano Ronaldo Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo didn't have the best time of it in his last Fifa World Cup 2018 game, missing a penalty and finding it difficult in open play to add to his four-goal tally. Changing that will be the plan for the Portugal captain when the European champions face off against Luis Suarez's Uruguay in a should-be-brilliant Fifa World Cup 2018 round of 16 match.

Ronaldo started the World Cup like a house on fire, smashing a hat-trick against Spain, before scoring the crucial goal that pretty much sealed Portugal's place in the last 16.

While they made heavy weather of it against Iran, you always felt there was only going to be one result – Portugal making it to the round of 16, with the only question being if it would be as the group winners or runners-up.

It ended up being the latter, which has meant a difficult last 16 match against Uruguay, who always seem to know what to do when it comes to major tournaments.

The fact that they have a stingy defence – they are yet to concede a single goal in this Fifa World Cup 2018 – and a strike duo – Suarez and Edinson Cavani – that would get into any team make them a really tough proposition.

That is the code, however, that Portugal has to crack, and if there is any player capable of doing that, it certainly is Ronaldo.

Team news:


Jose Gimenez, the immensely talented centre-back, missed the last game with a back injury. However, with that injury now overcome, Gimenez should slot right back into the starting XI, alongside his evergreen Atletico Madrid team-mate Diego Godin.

Lucas Torreira, the defensive midfielder who is reportedly on his way to Arsenal, impressed from the start against Russia and is expected to keep his place in the playing XI.


William Carvalho, the hugely important defensive midfielder for Portugal, is a doubtful starter, after missing training on Thursday. Fernando Santos, the Portugal manager, will hope the midfielder recovers in time because he is crucial to the way Portugal play.

Raphael Guerreiro and Gelson Martins, who were carrying knocks, trained without too many problems, which means they should be available. While Guerreiro will play at left-back, Martins is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench.

Joao Moutinho started on the bench in Portugal's 1-1 draw against Iran, but the midfielder will hope to return to the starting XI against Uruguay. If he does, then Adrien Silva is the man likely to make way.

Ricardo Quaresma impressed in his first start for Portugal, scoring one of the goals of the tournament, and expect the veteran winger to get the nod again, as he tries to combine with Ronaldo to get past that Uruguay defence.

Possible lineups:

Uruguay: Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin, Diego Laxalt; Nahitan Nandez, Matias Vecino, Lucas Torreira, Rodrigo Bentancur; Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani.

Portugal: Rui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro, Ricardo Quaresma, William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Joao Mario; Goncalo Guedes, Cristiano Ronaldo.