We can control Mbappe, says Suarez

Arnold Nichols
July 4, 2018

Russian Federation 2018 has been a tournament where strikers have come to the party; Harry Kane has scored 5 goals and Romelu Lukaku has 4, yet Uruguay are the only side to play with two out-and-out strikers.

Santos said his side had studied their opponents but that it was impossible to legislate for Uruguay's first goal, which featured a superb interaction between Luis Suarez and his strike partner Cavani."There was a cross to the left, then a cross to the right - there is no scheme against that". But he is French and he does not know what it means to be Uruguayan.

"He does not know the dedication we have to succeed in football with the few numbers we have".

Uruguay's population is about 3.5 million, while France's is around 67 million.

"Cavani sustained an injury tonight and we will have to see how that evolves as it's not clear at this stage how serious it is", he said.

Portugal have progressed from the group stage of the World Cup for the fourth time in their history. The much talked about penalty miss against Iceland was poor but Ronaldo also missed a penalty in Portugal's draw with Iran and was unable to make a difference in the final game against Uruguay.

Earlier Mbappe's pair guided France to a 4-3 victory over Argentina in a pulsating game played in Kazan.

One of only two teams to win all four games so far, Uruguay boast one of the meanest defences in Russian Federation marshalled by talismanic captain Diego Godin, and a lethal strikeforce in Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez.

Such is the close relationship that Godin is godfather to Griezmann's daughter.

Griezmann's affection for Uruguay started about a decade ago. The Frenchman also became a fan of Uruguayan club Penarol and learned the chants sung among its supporters.

Suarez and Cavani were born there three weeks apart in Salto, the second largest city in Uruguay.

Unlike Suarez, others believe Griezmann has grasped what it means to be from the South American country.

A very different task awaits in breaking through Uruguay's brick wall of a defence that will not allow Mbappe the same space to exploit. "It could be a very special match for him".

"El Maestro" Tabarez has been in charge of Uruguay for 12 years and has not only forged a strong team who rarely fail to deliver on the big stage, but also a side with an vast work ethic and huge experience. It's a tough match, like the ones we've been having, and we'll do our job, trying to be compact, defending all together.

Uruguay have shown in Russian Federation they are extremely hard to beat yet sometimes underwhelming - all things you could have predicted from La Celeste before the World Cup. I just felt something at one point and couldn't recover. "We've got some great players and a tremendous squad, a young group of players with real ambition to go out and succeed", he said.

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