France vs Uruguay
Can World Champions France claim a win to round off a brilliant 2018? Having lifted the World Cup for the second time, it’s unlikely that defeat on Tuesday would ruin the year for any of their fans. However, as they look to start their Euro 2020 campaign in a matter of months, they’ll want another victory on the board, having been beaten by a rejuvenated Dutch side. Can France bounce back with a win at home to Uruguay, or will the South Americans gain revenge for their World Cup exit?
France put Uruguay out in the quarters in Russia, before going on to beat Belgium and Croatia. It was a difficult path to the final, and their win was made all the more sweeter given who they beat along the way. We expect the French to show the strength of their brilliant squad in this friendly clash, but that shouldn’t weaken them too much. They will need to switch things up after losing 2-0 in Amsterdam, a defeat which exposed problems at the back for the world champions.
Things could be about to get worse for the French defence here, with Uruguay keeping Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez in their side ahead of this trip. They’re likely to go with a strong forward line for this one, with Cavani meeting another PSG teammate in a matter of days. Their narrow loss to Brazil saw the forward clash with Neymar, and now he’s set to start against Kylian Mbappe. That alone makes this an interesting clash, while we’re predicting goals in this big clash.
The hosts may be switching up their defence, but that’s nothing compared to Uruguay. Following the Brazil loss, they have lost four defenders, all key names who ply their trade in Europe. Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez, Sebastian Coates and Marcelo Saracchi are all ruled out, which should be great news for the home side’s forward line. The visitors have seven defenders left in the squad, only two of whom have more than two caps. We expect that to lead to openings for Mbappe and co.
We still see Uruguay scoring here, given that the hosts have seen both teams score in six of their last seven friendlies. Only the Republic of Ireland have failed to score in a non-competitive trip to France this year, while the visitors have seen both teams score in four of their last five away friendly games. With that in mind, we’re going for both teams to score, and a 2-1 home win.