Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia, 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, Fox
- Saudi Arabia +1911
- Uruguay -550
- Draw +681
Bet to Watch:
Uruguay -2.5 +150
In their opening match, it took Uruguay until stoppage time against a Mo Salah-less Egypt team to finally scrape a goal. They did it the old-fashioned Uruguay way, with a towering header from central defender Jose Gimenez. But that undersells just how well the team created chances. They took 15 shots — eight of them from inside the penalty area — and created three big chances. That’s a paddling, even if it didn’t manifest on the scoreboard until late.
Now, they get to go up against a team that is considerably worse than Egypt. Even more troubling for Saudi Arabia is the fact that they aren’t committed to defending. If anything was going to slow Uruguay down it’s the fact that despite the pre-tournament hype about wanting to play attractively, they simply aren’t a particularly creative squad. They bully you, and they’re one of the best in the world at it.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia just got bullied by Russia. They tried to play a possession based brand of soccer and pass the ball around in midfield in the hopes of working it through the Russian lines of defense. Instead they basically kept passing the ball to Russia, which resulted in the hosts running at a woefully exposed, and very poor Saudi back line.
A defensive Saudi side that sat back, stayed compact and didn’t want the ball might be able to hang with Uruguay the way Egypt did. But this Saudi side is setting up to get battered.