It comes down to this for Ghana and Uruguay, as they fight it out in Al-Wakrah for the chance to join Portugal in the Round of 16.
The Black Stars breathed life into their tournament with a nail-biting 3-2 win over Korea Republic on Monday thanks to Mohammed Kudus’ winner, and they now control their own fate. A win secures a place in the Round of 16, and a point could be enough too if Korea Republic fails to beat Portugal.
It’s been a different story for a Uruguay team that’s been stuck in first gear so far – no goals, no fluidity and just a single point. Even so, if La Celeste can turn it on for 90 minutes here, all is not lost. A win would likely see them qualify from Group F in second place as long as Korea Republic loses or ties against Portugal.
Get the lowdown on this Friday, December 2 clash with our World Cup picks and predictions for Ghana vs. Uruguay.
Ghana vs Uruguay odds
Ghana vs Uruguay picks and predictions
For a proud generation of veteran Uruguay stars, this tournament is the last ride on the World Cup stage – and I can’t see them going out with a whimper. That said, it’ll take a much more vibrant performance to stay alive and reach the Round of 16.
So far, La Celeste have been underwhelming, seemingly playing not to lose rather than pushing for maximum points, yet Diego Godin, Luis Suarez & Co. have one more chance here to turn things around.
Ghana, one of the bolder teams in Qatar, stands in Uruguay’s way and brings pace and power in the final third. But the Black Stars don’t have the same defensive discipline as Korea Republic and Portugal. That gives me confidence that the highly-rated Uruguay attack will finally wake up and find the net on Friday.
Of these two teams, it’s Uruguay who needs a win to have a chance of surviving the group stage and I expect to see Diego Alonso set up his side with that in mind. We may see all three of Suarez, Darwin Nunez, and Edinson Cavani together in the starting XI to spark a fast start.
Though the recent formbook points to Ghana, I like an experienced Uruguay core to rise to the occasion and do just enough to snatch three vital points.
My best bet: Uruguay moneyline (-138 at bet365)
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Ghana vs Uruguay side analysis
The clock is ticking for Alonso to get the most out of an attack that, on paper, offers real goal threat. Suarez started in the 0-0 draw with Korea Republic; Cavani got the nod against Portugal, but neither made their mark. Better service from midfield and out wide would help.
For all Ghana’s attacking highlights, the defense leaves holes to exploit. The Black Stars have conceded five goals in two games – and if Uruguay is going to find its shooting boots, this is at least a favorable matchup.
Uruguay has no choice but to take some risks on Friday. It needs a win – the bigger, the better. After all, if Uruguay and Korea Republic both win, goal difference (and, if necessary, other tiebreakers) will come into play. That may involve a shift in system for La Celeste away from a back three to get an extra creative midfielder on the pitch.
The group scenario for Ghana serves up a dilemma over how to approach this contest. With a team built to play with freedom, will the Black Stars stay on the front foot or play it safe and keep an eye on the Portugal-Korea Republic score?
The likelihood is that both teams will chase the win, setting up an exciting game and a tense finish to Group F action.
Ghana vs Uruguay Over/Under analysis
There’s been nothing dull about Ghana’s two games at the 2022 World Cup, with a 3-2 loss to Portugal followed by a 3-2 win over Korea Republic. End-to-end action is all but guaranteed with Otto Addo playing to his team’s strengths.
But Uruguay have shown far less cutting edge in the final third – and La Celeste are still looking for their first goal of the tournament, despite the options of Nunez, Suarez, and Cavani in attack.
Unlike against Portugal, La Celeste can’t just sit back here, and this is a chance for midfield sparkplug Federico Valverde, a breakout star at Real Madrid, to make his mark at the World Cup after a quiet start.
Given Uruguay’s rugged defense, I don’t expect to see Ghana involved in another five-goal thriller, but equally neither team can feel good about a goalless stalemate. I’m counting on at least a couple of goals with the high stakes and the talent on display.
Ghana vs Uruguay game info
|Location:||Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah, Qatar|
|Date:||Friday, December 2, 2022|
|Time:||10:00 a.m. ET|
Ghana vs Uruguay key injuries
Ghana: No key injuries to report.
Uruguay: Ronald Araujo CB (Doubtful).