Ronaldo, Suarez put World Cup dreams on line as Portugal face Uruguay

Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvan who was once homeless saves a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo

Beiranvan who was once homeless saves a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo

"We have known each other for a long time and have played together for over 10 years in the national team", Suarez said of Cavani.

"He is a worldwide star, but you don't prepare for a match thinking about one player, but thinking about the team as a whole".

Defensive midfielder William Carvalho is a doubt after he missed a training session on Thursday.

Uruguay's formidable defence have not let in a goal at all in 2018, while Suarez has recovered from a poor first outing in Russian Federation to score in wins over Saudi Arabia and the hosts.

Fernando Santos is lacking another defensive-midfield force akin to Carvalho in his squad, although Joao Moutinho could return alongside Adrien Silva in the engine room after starting on the bench against Russian Federation. Oscar Tabarez is the longest-serving worldwide manager.

European champions Portugal, however, finished second in their section to set up a clash with Uruguay in the last 16.

Ronaldo began the tournament in spectacular fashion, with his stunning free kick completing a hat trick and snatching a 3-3 draw against Spain at Fisht Stadium.

"We have to be strong as a team, as strong as Uruguay". That miss, however, has probably fired the 33-year-old to come up with a stronger display in this encounter.

When it comes to team news, Uruguay is hoping defender Jose Gimenez will be ready for this one after missing the Russian Federation match with a muscle injury.

Penalty shoot-outs excluded, Portugal have lost only one of their last 17 games at major tournaments (W8 D8), a 4-0 defeat against Germany at the 2014 World Cup. That 1-1 draw on Monday saw them finish second in Group B to set up a match against Luis Suarez and Uruguay, whereas group winners Spain face an easier-looking tie against hosts Russian Federation.

Cristiano Ronaldo and co were not at all convincing in the group stage, and scraped into the knockout rounds with a 1-1 draw against Iran. We've shown we have the chance to win and if we keep it up this way I think we'll be successful.

For Portugal to progress they will have to overcome what is, as of now, the best defense of any team in the tournament.

"They have great players like we do, but we have the best player in the world", Soares told, with Ronaldo set to equal ex-Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger's record of 38 appearances combined in World Cup finals and European Championships.

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