Egypt and Uruguay will square off on Friday in Ekaterinburg, the two teams being drawn in Group A alongside Saudi Arabia and host nation Russia.
Egypt achieved qualification to the 2018 World Cup by topping a qualifying group with Ghana, Uganda and Congo, mostly due to Mo Salah’s heroics who scored 5 of Egypt`s 8 goals in the group. The Egyptians will be hopeful ahead of their first World Cup in 28 years, especially as Mohamed Salah has been deemed fit to play the opener against Uruguay after his injury scare in the Champions League final. Egypt has been poor without him in the pre – World Cup friendlies, failing to win in any of their preparation games.
Uruguay is the clear cut favorite in Group A and for good reason, as the South American have a very good squad led by their world class strikers Suarez and Cavani. The team qualified fairly easily for the World Cup, finishing second behind Brazil in the CONMEBOL qualifiers. Uruguay played just one pre – World Cup friendly, a routine 3-0 win against Uzbekistan.Bet on Egypt vs. Uruguay and claim your 100% (100 Euro) free bet at Ohmbet now!
Team news & lineups:
The big news is of course Salah’s availability for Egypt, the Liverpool star being “almost 100% certain to play” according to boss Hector Cuper.
Egypt: El Hadary – Fathy, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel Shafy – Hamed, Elneny – Sobhi, Said, Salah – Mohsen
Uruguay: Muslera – Varela, Gimenez, Godin, Caceres – Nandez, Vecino, Bentancur, De Arrascaeta – Suarez, Cavani
Egypt has a good generation and could challenge for qualification here ahead of Saudi Arabia and a not so great Russia, but Uruguay will be a step above in quality.
The Egyptians have been outplayed in their pre World Cup friendlies by teams like Portugal, Greece, Colombia or Belgium. While friendly game results are rarely the best indication, the fact that Egypt was always dominated and unable to create chances in these games is relevant.
Salah’s expected return will obviously be a huge boost for the Africans, but at the end of the day he is just one player, and he`s coming after a period of inactivity. It`s unlikely he can make the difference in these circumstances against a superior opponent like Uruguay.
There shouldn`t be any upset here, as the Uruguayans showed great football in the South American World Cup qualifiers and seem to be in good form with 3 wins out of 3 in their matches this year.
My tip is Uruguay to win. Prediction: Egypt – Uruguay 0-2.