Uruguay’s Godin won't give ground to France’s Griezmann in World Cup battle

Edinson Cavani

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France talisman Antoine Griezmann claims that he will be facing off against his "second country" when Les Bleus take on Uruguay in the quarter final of the World Cup on Friday, admitting that it will be an emotional experience to play against so many of his closest friends.

Now he is fighting for a full recovery so he can again lead the line with Luis Suarez against France in Nizhny Novgorod.

Former Middlesbrough striker Christian Stuani replaces the prolific forward in the starting XI as Uruguay aim for their second semi-final in the last three editions.

But in this topsy-turvy World Cup, one thing for Uruguay has notably changed.

This is Russia's best World Cup run since the break-up of the Soviet Union.

They know they may never have a chance like this again to match their 1990 run to the semi-finals or their 1966 triumph.

And Suarez says such results have shown that Oscar Tabarez's side do not depend exclusively on their two star forwards.

Griezmann met Godin and Gimenez at Madrid airport wearing a Uruguay jersey when they flew back after clinching World Cup qualification - and has said he feels "part Uruguayan".

It is as tough a World Cup fixture as France could have, and any hope that their stars will enjoy the same space they enjoyed in their 4-3 win against a disorganised Argentina have already been extinguished. "He does not know the dedication we have to succeed in football with the few numbers we have".

The opening goal was scored by defender Raphael Varane on the 40th minute. "There is another mentality", said Uruguay's record scorer, who has 53 goals in 102 appearances.

"I don't think we have a style that is set", the 27-year-old said.

"There are players who can fill in for Edinson but anyway, the game will not depend on one single player - we have already shown a lot of progress for a collective point of view". "Apart from that, they didn't have many great opportunities".

Cavani scored twice in the 2-1 victory over Portugal to help his side into the last eight but limped off during the second half with a hamstring problem. France beat us and they beat us well.

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