Best Odds: 3/1
World Cup hosts will be looking to virtually put a seal on their place in the knockout stages following a compelling tournament opener against Saudi Arabia. At the opposite end, Egypt are bidding for their first-ever World Cup win as the African nation hopes to welcome back Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah.
A seven-match winless run brought pessimism and fear for the World Cup hosts Russia but an empathic 5-0 victory over a woeful Saudi Arabia lifted all negativity.
Stanislav Cherchesov’s side breezed past the incompetent opposition in a remarkable fashion but will now face a much more difficult challenge against a motivated Egypt. The forthcoming clash will be a proper test to Russia’s credentials as they hope to earn their ticket for the next stage of the competition without leaving it to Lady Luck or chance to decide. The hosts will definitely hope their key player from the opening match, Denis Cheryshev, will be able to replicate the fantastic performance from the Saudi Arabia match. Having replaced injured Alan Dzagoev, Cheryshev grabbed a firm hold of a chance he had been given by scoring two goals from off the bench – including a superb free-kick to seal the five-star victory.
Denis Cheryshev will continue instead Alan Dzagoev who’s been ruled out of the World Cup group stage with a hamstring injury.
The hosts will have no other selection worries ahead of the Egypt match.
The Pharaohs kicked off their historic World Cup campaign without the biggest star Mohamed Salah who remained on the bench with his shoulder not feeling fully fit. Egypt put in a stubborn display nonetheless but ultimately failed to stick to their resilient gameplan as Jose Gimenez struck it late to give Uruguay an important 1-0 victory in the 89th minute.
Hector Cuper is prepared to unleash Salah against the tournament hosts with Egypt in desperate need of three points and the Argentine expert is well aware that speed and agility of the Liverpool talisman could be an ace up his sleeve against Russia’s ageing defense line. Cuper will be looking to add some flair to the rigid tactics displayed against Uruguay and will be hoping mahmoud Hassan – also known as Trezeguet – will offer valuable support for Salah, pushing from the opposite flank.
Egypt are set to be strengthened immeasurably by Mohamed Salah’s return.
The Pharaohs will head into the Russia clash without midfielder Tarek Hamed who has sustained a hip injury and is likely to be rested.
Key Factors to Consider
- Only one team scored in three of Russia’s last 5 matches
- Egypt failed to score in 4 of their last five games
- Russia’s 5-0 win was the second-highest ever by a host nation in a World Cup opener
- Aleksandr Golovin has been directly involved in Russia’s three goals vs Saudi Arabia
- This is the first-ever meeting between Russia and Egypt
Russia are flying high on morale following a comprehensive win in the opener. The hosts are eager to grab further three points in order to clinch their ticket for the knockout stages but the Pharaos are ready to call upon one of the world’s best footballer Mo Salah to help them ruin Russian plans and prepare a surprise for the World Cup fans around the globe.
Best Odds: 3/1
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