Uruguay V Ghana Preview: Odds & Betting Tips – Friday, 2nd July (Quarter-Final)
Uruguay V Ghana Preview
Kick-off: Friday, 2nd July – 19:30 GMT
Venue: Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
World Cup Quarter-Final
Back in the day when Uruguay were a genuine powerhouse when it came to international football and major tournaments, a semi-final appearance wouldn’t be as coveted and celebrated as it is perhaps now, more the norm, but La Celesta have a golden opportunity to return to the glory days when they entertain Ghana in the South Africa capital aiming to make the semi-final of a FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1970. With three wins from four games and an unbeaten status to protect, there’s little reason to doubt the South American’s bid to make the last-four cut at the expense of a country carrying a continents burden.
Uruguay’s claim to fame in the tournament so far has been two lethal forwards. Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez both arrived in South Africa with formidable reputations, scoring goals freely and prolifically at club level but needing to prove something or two to either past or potentially new employers. Former Manchester United Flop, Diego Forlan, got the ball rolling with a double against the hosts, South Africa, but it’s been the Suarez show ever since, as the player lined up by many of Europe’s giant clubs scored the winner against Mexico which ensured Uruguay topped Group A, followed by a classy double in the Round of 16 against a stubborn and resilient South Korea. No doubt the pair are worth a fair few bob or two, Suarez’s in particular will rise significantly should he add to the three he already has under his belt and continue his pursuit of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot.
The man at the Uruguay helm also deserves plenty of credit, after all this is a country which needed a second chance in order to make the finals when beating Costa Rica 2-1 on aggregate in a play-off. Nevertheless, like good teams do, they’ve taken their chance and now look to have every chance or surpassing yet more expectations. Extremely well disciplined and organised at the back, combative in midfield and deadly up front. The fundamentals into how and why Uruguay have enjoyed so much success up till now. With coach Oscar Tabarez facing up to few pre-game player worries, defender Diego Godin the only concern with a niggling knock, we should be treated to the same Uruguay which has taken to both life in South Africa and the unusual challenges they’ve faced magnificently.
At the very beginning of the tournament there were six representatives from the African continent. Two weeks on and Ghana are the last African standing, now shouldering the weight, or burden, of a continent desperate to see one of their own lift the FIFA World Cup for the very first time. Now that’s a whole lot of pressure weighing down upon every single Ghana player that steps onto the field on Friday, in the knowledge that a single mistake will have this ripple effect throughout Africa. Up till now they’ve proven they can handle the hype, certainly no signs of them wilting under the pressure thus far, but with the competition now at its nitty-gritty stage, will some of Ghana’s younger generation be found wanting as men are now needed to come to the World Cup fort.
In Group D, Ghana needed a superior goal difference to see them through while they required some extra-time heroics from forward Asamoah Gyan to edge them past the United States in a nervy encounter, so up till now it’s been a case of fine margins for Milovan Rajevac’s team, who now faces the biggest managerial game of his career knowing that changes have been forced upon them and that he must ensure he makes the correct decisions leading up to the biggest game in the country’s history. As well as having Jonathan Mensah and Ayew suspended, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Asamoah Gyan are in races against time to be fit for the Uruguay clash leaving coach Rajevac with enough food for thought to turn his stomach. The latter two have been in inspired form for Ghana the whole tournament, with Gyan’s three strikes thus far instrumental in Ghana even getting this far. Without him, as well as Boateng’s determined attitude, which has seemingly proved infectious, in the centre of the park, Ghana will struggle and look frighteningly lightweight in every aspect.
You’ll struggle to find a group of individuals that work harder as a collective unit than Ghana, remaining compact and disciplined at the back whilst looking both classy and dangerous when striding forward. The coach has them well drilled all over the pitch but it’s their enthusiasm for the game, their determination and hunger to succeed not just on a personal level but continentally. They know just what winning means to Africa as a whole and it’s how they’ve fed off the support which has kept them alive and well thus far, but also it has helped them to bridge the gaps put in front of them. They surprised many when they recorded a 1-0 win over Serbia, a team many believed to be a serious outside player, but they even more outstanding against the irrepressible Germans despite falling to a 1-0 loss. Ghana are clearly thriving off the support they’ve been blessed with so far and it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see them reach another level of amazement, to raise their game a further level of two in order to get the result they and Africa are urging them towards.
Our Betting Tip: Uruguay to WIN – 2.10 Bet365
For all the tenacious spirit inside the Ghana camp, there’s too much forward quality in the Uruguay corner to ignore. In a match where chances are likely to be few and far between, a game where neither side will want to hand the initiative over too cheaply, it may well take a moment of sheer brilliance to separate the two sides come full-time and in Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez, Uruguay have two likely match winners.
Two defences which has proven to be solid and dependable throughout the tournament, with Uruguay conceding just the one goal in four games and Ghana three, so the scoring should be restricted somewhat. We’re on a Uruguay victory mainly because of their forwards in comparison to Ghana’s only notable striker – Asamoah Gyan – who is carrying a knock into this clash.
Recommended Bet: Uruguay to WIN by 1 Goal – 3.75 Bet365
Current Uruguay v Ghana Odds: