Uruguay and Saudi Arabia will face each other in a World Cup betting setting next year. The two national teams have met only in international friendly matches. The South Americans bested the Arabians 3-2 on March 27th, 2002. And on October 10th, 2014 they finished drawn 1-1. It’s safe to say that the Green Falcons aren’t all that familiar with La Celeste. Perhaps to remedy that lack of acquaintanceship, Saudi Arabia is scheduled to played the next best thing: Argentina. Argentina should be able to provide a good rehearsal, since they have several traits in common with Uruguay.
20 June 2018 18:00 MSK (UTC+3)
Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia
Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
Saudi Arabia will begin to prepare for the World Cup with an appearance in the Gulf Cup which starts on December 22nd in Kuwait. They weren’t originally going to participate when it was going to be held in Qatar. However, Kuwait’s ban was lifted and the competition moved to Kuwait. As a result, the Green Falcons will be there with bells on. Saudi Arabia’s road to the World Cup betting will continue with the aforementioned friendly match versus Argentina, set to be played during the international break in March. The venue has yet to be revealed. Coincidentally, the Green Falcons’ new head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi was born in Argentina, though he spent most of his playing career in Spain, and even represented the Spanish national team for four years.
And speaking of coaches, Uruguayan manager Óscar Washington Tabárez should and more than likely will watch that game between Argentina and Arabia Saudi, especially considering it will afford him a rare opportunity to study his World Cup opponents. They say people fear what they don’t know or understand. The Green Falcons however have not inspired awe as much as they have derision from all and sundry. Thus, teams like Uruguay might just bet the World Cup matchup with Saudi Arabia will be a piece of cake. The fact remains though that the Green Falcons have the element of surprise on their side.
La Celeste also packs a surprise punch in the form of the squad’s youth movement. The team’s core players, such as Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Cristian Rodriguez, Diego Godin, Martin Caceres and Egidio Arevalo Rios, are all getting a little too long in the tooth (or, in the case of Suarez, always were). Tabarez has brought in the likes of Nahitan Nandez (21), Rodrigo Bentancur (20) and Federico Valverde, who are 21, 20, and 19 years old, respectively, to counteract the side’s aging process. Valverde (Deportivo La Coruna) and Bentancur (Juventus) in particular have been a breath of fresh air, bringing to the table (or pitch, as the case may be) a knack for holding possession, protecting the defence, and linking up with the offense, which has turned Uruguay into an attractive as well as effective squad. Los Charruas may not be a World Cup betting lock to win the tournament, but they should have their best showing in a long, long while.