Russia vs. Egypt Preview

After an imperious display from the tournament hosts, Russia, in defeating Saudi Arabia 5-0, all eyes are set on what should be another fantastic game against African side Egypt.


Image: YouTube

The second round of fixtures for Group A begin tomorrow as Russia sit top with 3 points in contrast to Egypt yet to win any. Another win could see Russia almost guaranteed a place in the round of 16 whereas Egypt will be all but out. The stakes could not be higher, which is why Mohamed Salah should definitely start for the Pharaohs.

TEAM SELECTION

Russia took on what can only be described as an incredibly underwhelming Saudi Arabian side. Goals from Yuri Gazinskiy, Denis Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba and Alexsandr Golovin secured an emphatic win. The hosts started with the experienced Akinfeev in goal, Figueira Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich and Zhirkov made up the Russian defence, In midfield, Gazinskiy, Zobnin, Samedov, Dzagoev and Golovin started with Smolov up front.

It may be likely for the manager to make one or two changes to the starting line-up, but given Russia's performance it would make sense to keep the starting XI exactly the same. Here it is as follows:
:

Goal
Akinfeev

Defence
Figueira Fernandes
Kutepov
Ignashevich
Zhirkov

Midfield
Gazinskiy
Zobnin
Samedov
Dzagoev
Golovin 

Forward
Smolov


Egypt's narrow 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, thanks to a dramatic late goal from Jose Giménez, has piled all the pressure onto the African side in what can only be described as a must-win game. On the positive side, Mohamed Salah is likely to begin in the Egyptian team that is chasing three points. Against Uruguay, El-Shenawy started in goal, with Fathy, Gabr, Hegazi and Shafy in defence. For the Egyptians, their midfield comprised of Elneny, Hamed, Warda, El Said and Trézéguet while Mohsen started upfront.

As mentioned, this is a game Egypt simply cannot afford to lose so an attacking line-up must be expected:

Goal
El-Shenawy

Defence
Fathy
Gabr
Hegazi
Shafy

Midfield
Elneny
Hamed
Warda
El Said

Forward
Mohsen
Salah



PREDICTION

Egypt have it all to do and with Senegal becoming the first African nation of this World Cup to score from open play and win a match, this may serve as a source of inspiration for the Egyptians. However, it will be difficult as Russia will certainly have home advantage and a spring in their steps following their confident performance against Saudi Arabia. If Mohamed Salah starts, he could definitely find himself on the scoresheet so 2-1 to Egypt.

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