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Ghana vs Uruguay Odds, Predictions, Pick | World Cup Match Preview

Ghana vs Uruguay Odds, Predictions, Pick | World Cup Match Preview article feature image
Credit:

DeFodi Images/Getty. Pictured: Luis Suarez.

  • Uruguay are favored to beat Ghana in the World Cup.
  • The fixture comes with heavy round of 16 implications.
  • Who will prevail in the Friday match? BJ Cunningham breaks it down.

Ghana vs. Uruguay Odds

Friday, Dec. 2
10 a.m. ET
FS1
Ghana Odds +375
Uruguay Odds -138
Draw +280
Over/Under 2.5 (+100 / -125)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No) (-106 / -125)
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.

Ghana and Uruguay meet in the final round of matches in Group H with Uruguay needing a win to get to the round of 16.

These two have had a pretty intense rivalry ever since Uruguay knocked Ghana out of the 2010 World Cup. Luis Suarez famously cleared the ball off the line with his hand in the last minute of extra time before Ghana subsequently missed the penalty and lost the ensuing penalty kick shootout.

Uruguay vs Ghana, 2010 World Cup.

This is Luis Suárez's story about that handball. pic.twitter.com/uAxD1ZSsWB

— Players' Tribune Football (@TPTFootball) December 1, 2022

For Ghana, the math is pretty simple. A win and they are through –  a draw and a South Korea draw or loss loss and they’re also through.

They’ve been one of the most electric offenses in the World Cup so far, scoring four goals through two games, but now they are in a situation where they’re going to have to play very defensively.

Uruguay were unlucky to lose to Portugal in their last match and it now puts them in a position where they have to win to go to the round of 16. They are the only team so far in this tournament to not find the back of the net, but playing against a below-average Ghana defense is the perfect opportunity to finally get on the scoresheet.

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Ghana Have Improved as Tournament Has Gone on

Ghana got a famous 3-2 win over South Korea in their second match. They took advantage of all of their chances, scored all three goals on three shots on target and came out victorious despite losing the xG battle.

South Korea 2-3 Ghana: 2-0 up, pegged back to 2-2 but then find a winner.

Ghana pick up their first points of the 2022 #FIFAWorldCup to nicely set up the grudge match against Uruguay on MD3. pic.twitter.com/fny2ZsiH5o

— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) November 28, 2022

Ghana have played much better since they conceded the opening goal to Portugal in their first match. However, they allowed South Korea to swing a whopping 35 crosses in and the South Koreans completed 15 of them, which is a World Cup record.

Their defense wasn’t all that impressive to begin with and allowing 3.8 xG in Ghana’s first two matches shows how reliant they are on their offense to win matches for them. So, it is concerning if they are forced to play more defensively given the amount of chances they’ve conceded so far this tournament.

However, Ghana have been really threatening in transition and from set pieces, as three of their four goals so far this tournament have been in or around the six-yard box. Uruguay have only allowed six total shots in their penalty area and none inside the six yard box through their first two matches.

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It’s Time For Uruguay to Win

This is it for Uruguay. They have to win to move onto the round of 16 and hope that South Korea don’t win against Portugal. They played an incredibly even match with Portugal, but variance just didn’t go their way.

Portugal 2 : 0 Uruguay

▪ xG: 1.48 – 1.17
▪ xThreat: 0.97 – 1.08
▪ Possession: 59.5% – 40.5%
▪ Field Tilt: 59.9% – 40.1%
▪ Def Line Height: 46.1 – 50.2#msbot_wc pic.twitter.com/W16L3ezi7g

— markstats bot (@markstatsbot) November 28, 2022

Uruguay typicall deploys a 4-4-2, but in their build-up play they want to play right through the center of the pitch, which is usually the most congested.

They try to create numerical overloads by inverting their wide midfielders and create a lot of passing options to try and play through the defense. This inevitably creates a lot of space down the flanks, which allows Uruguay’s full backs to make runs and deliver crosses. That’s something they will have to do if they want to create chances against Ghana’s defense. 

Out of possession, Uruguay will sit back in their 4-4-2 and be very selective with their pressing, but when they do, they press as a unit. They’ll look to overwhelm the opponent and create a turnover in a high position, which will be crucial against Ghana as they have committed a combined 25 high turnovers through their first two matches. 

The biggest advantage for Uruguay is in their midfield because they have one the best midfielders in the world right now, Federico Valverde. He’s been a little quiet so far this tournament, but he needs to show up on Friday if Uruguay are going to have a chance at advancing. 

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Ghana vs. Uruguay Pick

Ghana have been impressive at times, but we have to remember that this team had a negative xG differential throughout World Cup Qualifying and the Africa Cup of Nations, so we can’t overreact to one chaotic match.

You’ll see a much more aggressive Uruguay team in this game, and that should play to their advantage given how vulnerable the Ghanian defense has looked through two matches.

I have Uruguay projected at -231, so I like the value on their moneyline at -138.

The Pick: Uruguay ML (-138)

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