Two former world champions Uruguay and France will face each other in Nizhny Novogrod with a place in the World Cup semi-finals at stake on Friday.

For some, the potential absence of one of Uruguay’s key men could somewhat give France a slight edge.

Uruguay extinguished Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal  with Edinson Cavani scoring two brilliant goals but he is a doubt ahead of the last eight match with France on Friday.

The PSG man limped off with an ankle injury - news which will come as a relief to a French who sent Lionel Messi packing but their defense conceded three in the last round against the South Americans.

Though Uruguay cannot boast of individuals on a par with Lionel Messi they have well-knitted team capable of given any side headache, for France, their youthfulness is a delight.

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FIFA has assigned Argentine referee, Nestor Pitana, to officiate the Uruguay and France quarter final tie

The 43-year-old referee will be assisted by compatriots Hernan Maidana and Juan Belatti. Maidana will be the Assistant Referee 1 (AR1) and Belatti will be the Assistant Referee 2 (AR2).

Pitana’s calls and decisions will be heavily scrutinized in the match with possible fears of the Argentine referee favouring Uruguay because his country was knocked out of the tournament by France in the round of 16 last Saturday in a stunning 4-3 victory.

The winner of the Uruguay, France tie faces the winner of Belgium vs. Brazil in the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday July10.

PREDICTION: Uruguay 1-2 France

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