- Hosts Russia meet group favorites Uruguay at 10am EST on Monday, June 25th
- Who will take top spot in Group A?
- Will the recent goal scoring trend continue in this match?
Despite holding the 70th spot in the FIFA World Rankings, World Cup-host Russia have arguably been one of the more impressive outfits at this year’s tournament. Their eight goals scored are tied for the most in the tournament alongside the star-studded nations of England and Belgium.
Russia’s eight goals scored are tied for the most in the tournament alongside the star-studded nations of England and Belgium.
The Russians opened the tournament with a completely dominating performace over Saudi Arabia for their fans. They lead 2-0 at half and finished the match with a 5-0 win. In their following match they kept that momentum rolling with a 3-1 win over Egypt.
Russia as also yet to allow a goal from open play, as that lone goal allowed came through a Mohamed Salah penalty.
Overall they’ve outshot their opponents in both total shots and shots on target by 25-19 and 10-1 margins, respectively. Midfielder Denis Cheryshev, one of only two players on the Russian squad to not play his club soccer in Russia, leads the team with three goals. Fellow midfielder Aleksandr Golovin has been equally key to Russia’s success with two assists.
In Matchday 3 in Group A, the competition will go up a notch for the Russians. It’s one thing to defeat the Saudis and an Egyptian squad with a less than 100% Salah, but Uruguay rank 14th in the world and were pegged as favorites to win the group.
Despite Russia’s strong showing and the home field advantage, Uruguay are still priced as +170 favorites at Bovada on the three-way line.
Though Uruguay are also 2-0-0 in the group and have yet to allow a goal against, they have not looked quite as impressive as the Russians. Against a Salah’less Egypt squad, the Uruguayans needed an 89′ minute headed goal off a corner from defender José Giménez to grab a last minute 1-0 win.
In their second match Luis Suárez’s 23′ minute goal stood up as the game-winner in another tight 1-0 win over the Saudis. Despite the superior talent amongst their ranks they also only held 43% possession against Saudi Arabia.
But that talent should present a different challenge for the Russians. Uruguay also hold advantgaes in shots and shots on target over their opponents at 28-16 and 8-5. Uruguay have an incredible centre-back pairing in Giménez and Diego Godin who are teammates at Atletico Madrid and have superstar strikers in Suárez and Edinson Cavani from Barcelona and PSG.
Group A Table
Pick: Both Teams To Score: +105 via Bovada
With Egypt and Saudi Arabia already eliminated from the competition both Uruguay and Russia have secured passage into the Round of 16. However the winner of this match will claim the top seed in Group A and earn a matchup against the second place seed in Group B.
With the likelihood of that opponent being either Spain or Portugal, it’s arguable if that placement offers any real advantage going forward.
Because of Russia’s superior goal-differential though, a draw would also suffice to see them claim first overall. For that reason it’s possible we may see some squad rotation as teams prepare for the next round.
However, Russia have been flying and will want to keep the good times going for their fans and Uruguay could look at this as an opportunity to get their stars rolling before facing stiffer competition.
The tournament got off to a slow start as far as overall goal scoring. Under 2.5 goals cashed at a 9-7 clip in the first group stage matches and only seven games saw both teams score.
The past seven World Cup games have seen at least three goals and 6/7 have featured both teams scoring.
In the second round of group matches, scoring has been trending upwards with that stat flipping to 9-7 to over 2.5 goals. Also in the second round of group matches eight games have seen both teams score. In fact the past seven games have seen at least three goals and 6/7 have featured both teams scoring.
Uruguay vs Russia Odds via Bovada
|URU||Pick (-125)||+170||2 (-125) O|
|RUS||Pick (+105)||+190||2 (+105) U|