Tottenham captain Lloris expecting Uruguay to pose difficult test in World Cup quarter-final
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
The France skipper discussed the threat of the South Americans with or without Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani
Spurs captain Hugo Lloris is hoping to lead France into the semi finals of the World Cup today (Friday) and has warned his compatriots to expect a difficult battle with Uruguay regardless of whether Edinson Cavani is fit or not.
The 31-year-old was speaking at a press conference yesterday ahead of the last-eight tie in Russia this afternoon at 3pm.
Lloris, who also helped France reach the final of Euro 2016, will hope to stop Uruguay from scoring, but insisted they will still be strong even if Paris Saint-Germain forward Cavani is missing with a calf injury.
“Cavani has been a historical figure for PSG,” Lloris is quoted as saying by Press Association Sport.
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“He’s scored so many goals. He’s a winner, he’s a leader and he’s very much respected in France as a player, but also as a man because of his values.
“We’re getting ready for anything – whether he plays or does not. We know what he represents, but we also know they have other players that could also play at a high level.
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“It’s true that Cavani and (Luis) Suarez are amongst the most beautiful attacking pairs on earth. Uruguay has a great team, very clear ideas about what they want to do.
“They are a very difficult team to handle and very strong on the counter regardless of who is playing up front.”
Lloris has played in three of France’s four games at the World Cup so far, after being rested for the goalless draw with Denmark in Group C on June 26.
He helped them defeat Australia 2-1 in their tournament opener on June 16 before he kept a clean sheet on his 100th appearance for the national team in the 1-0 victory over Peru on June 21.
After missing the dull clash with the Danes, Lloris returned for the last-16 tie with Argentina last Saturday and despite conceding three times, France made it through with a 4-3 win.
Someone who has impressed the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper in Russia so far is international team-mate Paul Pogba.
Lloris believes the Manchester United midfielder is turning into a leader, he added: “I think he’s maturing, he’s growing.
“He’s accumulating experience, be it with Manchester United, Juventus - now he’s lining up more seasons, more caps. He’s starting to grow in the locker-room also and that is a good thing because he’s a true leader.
“He’s a very ambitious player. We all know he’s extremely talented and he has a lot to offer the team and his team-mates.
“I think that these big competitions are also good to reveal the talent of players and I’m sure it’s going to be the case for Paul.”
Should France make it through against Uruguay, they will face one of Belgium or Brazil in the semi-finals on Tuesday (7pm kick-off).
Lloris would no doubt relish a chance to take on club team-mates Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele for a place in the World Cup final.
The Spurs trio will hope to cause an upset later this evening (7pm) when they take on Brazil in the quarter-finals.
While Dembele is likely to be on the bench, both Alderweireld and Vertonghen should be in the starting XI and the latter is expected to go up against ex-Tottenham colleague Paulinho, who has impressed for the Selecao.