Ghana vs Uruguay Prediction
2nd December 2022
18:00 Qatar Time/15:00 GMT
Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
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World Cup Head-to-Head Record
Played:1 Uruguay Wins:1
Ghana vs Uruguay Prediction Match Overview
As is often the case at this stage in a World Cup, Ghana vs Uruguay is a must-win game for both sides, but more so Uruguay who sit on just one point with zero goals scored at this juncture, following a 0-0 stalemate with South Korea and a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Portugal. Uruguay’s lack of goals will be a profound concern for them, and it’s stating the obvious that if they don’t improve immediately in this department then they are going home.
Ghana have been one of the tournament’s most entertaining teams. Following an unfortunate loss to Portugal in their opening game in which they almost clawed themselves back to earn a point from 3-1 down, they dispatched South Korea 3-2 and now find themselves on the brink of qualification. With Portugal already qualified, they need to be mindful of the fact that the Portuguese may opt to start with a second-string XI which means that South Korea’s chances are improved in that game. This means a draw may well not be enough here.
Injuries and Suspensions
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Ghana vs Uruguay Prediction Analysis
Uruguay are likely to revert to a back 4 here as they push on for the win. The objective of the game against Portugal seemed to be keeping it tight and relying on their impressive firepower at the other end of the pitch but Portugal blew that plan apart early in the second half and the Uruguayans were forced into a tactical reshuffle with Pellistri coming on for the veteran defender Godin.
Ghana are likely to retain the back four which allowed them to accommodate both Ayew brothers, Kudus and Williams last time out. They sacrificed perhaps more possession than they would like and gave up too many chances to the Koreans, but in one sense their tactical plan worked because they were a threat throughout on the counter and so it proved.
Uruguay simply do not have the luxury of playing it tight anymore, and arguably it’s this overly-cautious approach, particularly in their group opener against South Korea that has been responsible for their current predicament. They must provide their frontmen with better service, although it also has to be said that Darwin Nunez has been something of a disappointment, mirroring his club form. Rodrigo Bentancur and Federico Valverde were both almost successful in compensating for Uruguay’s lack of goal threat in attack, with the latter coming so close to scoring what could have been the goal of the tournament thus far.
Ghana are set up to transition quickly through the midfield and get their forward men involved as often and as early as possible, but they will undoubtedly be concerned about the amount of possession that the Koreans enjoyed during their encounter which led to an avalanche of chances. While we don’t expect any personnel changes here because they will ideally want to retain their impressive attacking threat and want to avoid becoming too passive, they will be looking from more in midfield, particularly from Arsenal man Thomas Partey. Although Partey didn’t have a particularly bad game, they’re going to need to work extra hard here to stop the Uruguayans from posing a threat from deep and getting a regular supply to their frontmen.
The Ghanaians struggled to deal with the wide threat posed by the South Koreans, with new recruit Tariq Lamptey fading badly in the second half and earning himself a caution. Perhaps we can put this down to teething problems, as the Brighton full-back has generally been in impressive form this season. With Uruguay’s main threats concentrated in the middle of the park, perhaps we will see more of a threat from Ghana down the channels. The Ayew brothers and Inaki Williams also like to make use of the flanks, running into the channels often to stretch the defence and create space for others. Mohammed Kudus, one of the stars of the tournament so far, is usually expected to be the primary beneficiary of this attacking industry.
Uruguay will probably opt to start with Pellistri this time out, to provide some valuable width alongside their fullbacks Oliveira and Caceres. Nunez will likely come in off the left flank in a supporting role to give Edinson Cavani the room he needs to operate. The likes of Bentancur and veteran midfielder Vecino will be required to provide much-needed cover in the full-back areas as Ghana like to operate in the channels as previously stated.
Put simply, Uruguay need far more from their attackers. None have been particularly impressive, with chances snatched at and often failing to get into the positions required of them in the first place. Perhaps this is a function of ageing for players like Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, however, Darwin Nunez has simply lacked composure in front of goal and hasn’t looked like scoring.
Ghana will be happy with how dangerous their attack has looked in both games so far. It’s a fully functioning attacking unit, using the whole width of the pitch to offer several outlets in possession and creating space in the middle for the likes of Williams and Kudus to operate in. The Ghanaians will simply be hoping for more of the same here while trying to ensure that they aren’t overwhelmed at times as they were against the Koreans.
Ghana Key Players
Kudus announced himself at the tournament against South Korea with two well-taken goals, in a continuation of his impressive Champions League form for Ajax during this campaign. Uruguay are somewhat vulnerable in the channels and we believe that Kudus will be the primary beneficiary of Ghana making the most of this available space, making runs, overlaps and looking to get the ball into dangerous areas from these wide positions. Kudus has proven to be difficult to mark, playing from what would appear to be the shadow striker position.
Ghana can’t afford to cede as much possession as they did to the Koreans, and in this respect, Thomas Partey must have a better game to ensure that the Ghanaians aren’t outclassed in midfield which would seriously undermine their approach and lead to a glut of chances, as it did against the Koreans. At his best, Partey is capable of running the show and competing with the very best, but he wasn’t his usual dominant self last time out and a timely return to form here is very much required.
Uruguay Key Players
Now is the time to deliver for Liverpool’s expensive striker. There are no more caveats, no more ‘plus points’ to take away from performances. Uruguay need goals, and given Ghana’s proven ability to get them at the other end, they will likely require multiple goals. The best players rise to the occasion and don’t wilt under the bright lights, and Nunez has an excellent opportunity here to firstly show why Liverpool paid so much money for the former Benfica man and secondly, to gain the favour of the Uruguayan fans who still hold the likes of Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan close to their hearts.
Yes, we’ve picked the Spurs man before, and we’re picking him again. Bentancur has been Uruguay’s stand-out performer and has barely put a foot wrong during the tournament. The logic is simple – if Uruguay can win the midfield battle, they can get their forwards involved earlier and more often. Ghana have shown that they concede plenty of possession and chances respectively, so Uruguay will want to get on the front foot early and for that they need another big performance here from their midfield playmaker.
Ghana vs Uruguay Prediction
As cliched as it sounds, we’re likely to see an end-to-end game here, with both sides looking to go for broke. For Ghana, it’s simply what has worked for them so far and they would likely suffer if they were to play a more passive game while hoping for scraps from set pieces and the counter. Uruguay can’t afford to keep things tight and play it safe any longer. They will need a radical tactical revamp and will be required to get their forwards involved far earlier in the attacking phase of play.