Group A Match: Russia vs Egypt
Time: 11:30 pm, Place: Saint Petersburg, Live Telecast(India): Sony Ten 2/HD and Sony Ten 3/HD
Russia can become the first team to qualify for the knock-out rounds in this FIFA World Cup if they beat Egypt on Tuesday evening at Saint Petersburg. The Russia Vs Egypt game will be highlighted with the return of Egypt’s star player Mohamed Salah.
Group A is still open for all four teams. Group leaders Russia are the favourites to finish as leaders after their 5-0 thumping of Saudi Arabia on the opening day. Group giants Uruguay beat Egypt narrowly by a 1-0 margin, but stand in second place due to goal difference. Egypt’s hopes of reaching the knock-out stage will be over if they fail to gain a point in tonight’s Russia Vs Egypt game.
As mentioned above, Egypt can hope for all three points tonight as their superstar Mohamed Salah is returning from injury who almost single-handedly helped Egypt qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018. Salah goal’s tally for Egypt count more than the number of goals scored by all the other squad members combined, 33.
Russia and Egypt have never played against each other in their footballing history. In a World Cup, Russia has never lost against an African Nation and Egypt has never won against an European Nation.
Russia, host nation of this FIFA World Cup 2018 has never gone past beyond the group stages of the tournament since their partition from the USSR in 1991 and since then, they have finished group stages as the last placed team. But this time their opening day match against Saudi Arabia showed that history has changed for them or they are going to change it.
5-0 win against Saudi Arabia has given the host nation hopes of finishing as group leaders ahead of favourites Uruguay. Their victory was not only about scoring goals but it also showed their strength as a balanced squad. Three points in Russia Vs Egypt game will guarantee their spot in the first knock-out round.
However, Russia Vs Egypt game will be hard for them as it is a very crucial game for the opposition team and they shouldn’t get carried away against a team having the likes of Salah, Elneny and Hegazi.
Moreover, Russia will be without their key man Alan Dzagoev after he was forced off against Saudi Arabia. Villarreal man Denis Cheryshev, who scored a brace against Saudi Arabia after coming on from the bench is likely to be in place for Alan Dzagoev. Another player who scored after coming on as a substitue was Artem Dzyuba who may get the nod ahead of Smolov.
Team manager Stanislav Cherchesov is unlikely to make unnecessary changes to the squad as he is focused to form a stable team against Uruguay in their last group stage match. Russia will be depending on their experienced duo of Ignashevich and Akinfeev alongside their star right-back Mario Fernandez to cope with the pace of opposition goal threat, Mohamed Salah.
Denis Cheryshev(Villarreal CF, Winger)
Denis Cheryshev was on the bench against Saudi Arabia in their opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 but injury to Dzagoev gave him the chance to score two goals in front of the home fans and bag the Man of the Match Award.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) June 14, 2018
His heroics during the previous match has assured him a place in the Russian team and he will be eager to do more on Tuesday evening. His pace and technical play against Saudi Arabia showed the kind of threat he can be against any defense in the World. The former Real Madrid man will play in a left winger role against Egypt’s right winger Mohamed Salah, so it will be some treat for fans all over the globe.
Aleksandr Golovin (CSKA Moscow, Midfielder)
The 22 years-old was expected to perform in this World Cup and he is doing exactly that. He scored a free-kick and assisted two more goals against Saudi Arabia in the opening match.
25 passes completed
5 chances created
Not the worst start. pic.twitter.com/QS2mHKIHHJ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 14, 2018
The CSKA Moscow star was a constant threat for the opposition by creating chances and displacing opposition defense. His set-piece deliveries were absolute throughout the game. He was playing in a deep lying role initially but as the game proceeded, he crept into an advance play-maker role which helped forwards and wingers to deliver. He is expected to play the same role from midfield during Russia Vs Egypt match.
The Pharaohs camp ride high on confidence as their main man Mohamed Salah is again available for them despite their narrow loss against giants Uruguay.
Defeat against Uruguay was not totally a disaster for them as they lost by only one goal and also showed some glimpse of quality they posses in their squad. Tonight’s Russia Vs Egypt match will be very crucial for them as they have lost their first match already. A point/s tonight and a win against Saudi Arabia in their last match of the group stages can get them second place in Group A so they will need at least one point today to be alive in Group A, not mathematically.
Team manager Hector Cuper is expected to make some changes to the squad for tonight’s Russia Vs Egypt match. Returning Salah is likely to play on the right wing with a forward role. Huddersfield Town’s new recruit Ramadan Sobhi is also in contention to start and is expected to play in a left winger role. Their midfield will be relying on Arsenal player Mohamed Elneny and Tarek Hamed.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Forward winger)
Speculations over Mohamed Salah avilable for selection for Russia Vs Egypt match are clouded all over the web. The Liverpool winger who finished last season by creating history and breaking records, PFA Player of the Year trophy is just one of many awards he received last season.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018
He will be playing in an advanced forward role from right side of the pitch and is expected to perform highly. All fans from Egypt and around the World will be watching and hoping, so Salah will be under tremendous pressure. The winger will definitely be the prime key for Egypt to win tonight’s Russia Vs Egypt match.
Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal, Midfielder)
Another big name in the Egypt squad, he may not be a regular starter for his club Arsenal in recent years but he is surely very crucial for his National Team. Elneny is expected to play a key role against opposition man Aleksandr Golovin in midfield, which will be another key battle of the match as Golovin is expected to perform well tonight.
Since his move to Arsenal three years ago, Elneny has been a constant name in the Egypt squad and has partnered well with Tarek Hamed. He will be playing in a box-to-box midfielder role alongside Hamed to support the creative trio of Said, Sobhi and Salah.
Arsedevils Match Prediction:
Russia Vs Egypt : 0-1
Egypt are aware of the importance of the Russia Vs Egypt match and need aleast one point from tonight’s game to keep on fighting for more. Returning star Mohamed Salah is expected to score the winner.