Egypt vs Uruguay
Friday 15/06/2018 | 13:00 GMT | Ekateringburg Arena
Egypt take on group favourites Uruguay in the remaining opening game of the group A. There’s been much talk of whether Mo Salah will be fit for the opening game, and if recent reports are correct the Liverpool ace should lead his team out for their opening clash.
Uruguay have come into the 2018 world cup with pretty much the same backbone of the team they had in the 2014 world cup in which where they looked very strong but were not able to live up to the ‘dark horse’ status they acquired.
Of the two teams here, Uruguay certainly have the genuine pedigree at this level being 2 times champions of the world cup and being a regular fixture at the finals. Egypt however have only previously qualified for only two world cups, way back in 1934 and 28 years in 1990 both tournaments take place in Italy ironically.
Uruguay certainly come into to the tournament with much the better form and a more settled team and style of play. They have in Suarez and Cavani possibly the best strike force in the world cup. Uruguay qualified relatively easily in the cut throat some American qualifying rounds and have looked impressive since in the number of friendlies also.
Egypt however, have been on a poor run of form for over a year now. While hopes are high with their star player Mo Salah making a significant impact in the premier league and champions league, one big player can’t carry a poor team at this level.
Both Uruguay and Egypt have solid defences but where Uruguay have the advantages are in creative midfield and up front. While Salah did have a great season for Liverpool, he’s rarely shown that kind of form for this country and while he had a very good manager and other very good players around him at his club, same cant be said of the Egypt national side.
This will be a close game, but I expect Uruguay to pin Egypt in their own half for most of the game and with strikers like Suarez and Cavani hungry for goals, I can’t see any other outcome than a Uruguayan win.