Cristiano Ronaldo is the equal of two strikers

Cristiano Ronaldo was lucky to stay on the pitch after an altercation with Iran’s Morteza Pouraliganji. AFP

"This is the World Cup and we are playing for our national teams".

The victor of this fixture will go on to meet the winner of France and Argentina's encounter in Saturday's other round-of-16 matchup, as the tougher-looking side of the bracket gets up and running.

Godin is an expert at keeping clean sheets, as the leader of an Atletico defence that is the most formidable in the European club game - they kept 34 in all competitions last season - and of a Uruguay side that has not conceded a goal in 2018 in six games.

Asked whether Saturday's contest with Uruguay could be "boring", Portugal boss Fernando Santos told a press conference: "No, I don't think so". Oscar Tabarez is the longest-serving global manager. Russian referee Valentin Ivanov issued a record four red cards and 16 yellows, setting a record for cards shown at a World Cup, with Portugal's Deco and Costinha both sent off, along with Khalid Boulahrouz and Giovanni van Bronckhorst for the Dutch.

In that two against one, Ronaldo doesn't compare too badly.

"We have seen that in this World Cup there are no easy games".

Uruguay defender Jose Gimenez, who scored their first goal of the tournament, should also be ready to return after sitting out their final group game with Russian Federation.

The Uruguayan had thrived against English teams which attempted to crowd him out around the penalty area and his diverse skill-set makes him a prime match-winner. While Uruguay can match the reigning European champion technically and tactically, Portugal's apparent physical and mental advantages should help it prevail over the dogged South Americans.

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Cristiano Ronaldo and co were not at all convincing in the group stage, and scraped into the knockout rounds with a 1-1 draw against Iran.

Uruguay's defense smothered its Group A opponents, and Portugal tightened its guard following the thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain in their World Cup 2018 opener.

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani looked razor sharp in training as Uruguay fine-tuned their preparations ahead of the World Cup last 16.

This is Fernando Santos' fourth major tournament in a row as manager.

The quarter-final match between Uruguay and Portugal will take place in Sochi on Sunday (4am AEST).

The FIFA World Cup 2018 Uruguay vs Portugal Round of 16 match begins at 11:30 pm (IST).

For Portugal to progress they will have to overcome what is, as of now, the best defense of any team in the tournament.

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