WORLD CUP PREVIEW

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

WORLD CUP PREVIEW Fri: Ghana v Uruguay

The World Cup has a history of grudge matches but there surely can’t be a bigger one than the Group H rematch between Ghana and Uruguay.

12 years ago, Luis Suarez earned a place in Ghanaian infamy as his handball denied Ghana a last-minute quarter-final winner in 2010, preventing them from achieving what no African nation had ever done before: reaching the World Cup semi-finals. A missed penalty from Asamoah Gyan was followed by an agonising penalty shootout defeat, creating one of the most memorable moments of the 2010 tournament.

In 2022 the pair meet in what could be called a knockout contest, as both sides can still go through, with Uruguay in greater danger.

Diego Alonso’s men – who are the fourth worst outright result for Star Sports after dark horse punters latched on pre tournament – have just a point after two games and must win whilst hoping that other results go their way to qualify, which is a 17/20 shot at starsports.bet. They also haven’t scored a goal in their two games, although it’s not for a lack of trying.

They hit the post twice through Diego Godin and Federico Valverde in their draw with South Korea and they were unfortunate not to score against Portugal, with Rodrigo Bentancur’s brilliant first-half run stopped by an excellent intervention from Diogo Costa whilst substitute Maxi Gomez hit the post when they were chasing an equaliser.

Diogo Alonso’s side still need to find improvement going forward – their big names, especially Darwin Nunez, haven’t shown their best – but they were much improved after the break against Portugal when they changed to a 4-4-2 and found some of the natural width and space they’d struggled to create so far.

Much will depend on Alonso’s tactical choices – he’d be wise to start with the same system they used in the second half against Portugal – but they could find more joy against Ghana.

Ghana v Uruguay
FIFA World Cup Group H
15:00 BBC One / BBC iPlayer

LAST FIVE STATS

HEAD-TO-HEAD
JUL 2010 WORLD CUP Uruguay 1-1 Ghana

GHANA
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Brazil 2-0 Ghana
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Nicaragua 0-1 Ghana
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Ghana 2-0 Switzerland
NOV 2022 WORLD CUP Portugal 3-2 Ghana
NOV 2022 WORLD CUP South Korea 2-3 Ghana

URUGUAY
JUN 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Uruguay 5-0 Panama
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Iran 1-0 Uruguay
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Canada 0-2 Uruguay
NOV 2022 WORLD CUP Uruguay 0-0 South Korea
NOV 2022 WORLD CUP Portugal 2-0 Uruguay

Otto Addo’s side deserve credit for their resilience in a thrilling 3-2 win against South Korea, when the star quality of Mohammed Kudus (who scored a brace, including the winner) and Jordan Ayew (whose excellent crosses set up Ghana’s first two goals) and they clearly pack a punch going forwards.

However defensively it’s a different issue. South Korea were dominating the game before they scored the opener against the run of play and Portugal had complete control of the midfield before Ronaldo’s arguably lucky penalty. Ghana have conceded 3 goals in both games and Uruguay should take encouragement from the fact that South Korea won the shot count 22-7 and InfoGol’s XG count 2.29-1.52, whilst Portugal won the same count 2.64 to 1.33 and had the game’s better chances.

Ghana pack a punch going forward with Mohammed Kudus and Jordan Ayew, whilst Thomas Partey and Andre Ayew give them quality going forward, but they’ve looked unsure defensively in both games and the chaos that Cho Gue-sung caused from quality crosses in the second half of their clash with South Korea is a worry.

Uruguay need to find their shooting boots but they are likely to find more space against a Ghana defence that’s lacking cohesion – their only defender with more than 10 caps is Daniel Amartey – and if their midfield can take control of the game they could be too sharp for the Black Stars.

Uruguay are 8/11 with starsports.bet to win the match and that price makes appeal, and given that we can expect an open game due to the circumstances, the 9/5 on Uruguay winning in a game with over 2.5 goals makes appeal.

WILLIAM KEDJANYI


RECOMMENDED BETS

BACK Uruguay 4pts at 8/11 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Uruguay to win and Over 2.5 Goals 1pt at 9/5 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (WORLD CUP 2022): LOSS 27.44 points (after matches on Wed 30 Nov, includes TWO GOOD bonus on CAMEROON v SERBIA 28 Nov)
(Will include returns from both the OUTRIGHT and SPECIALS previews too)


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