After witnessing another unexpected humiliation for Saudi Arabia this time by the hosts, Russia in the opening game of Group A, there is nothing to look back at.
Except for the fact that the Arabians have not taken any lessons from their past and neither have they had eough preparation leading to the Tournament. Did i forget to metion something to do with school-boy defensive errors?
But then, we look forward to yet another exciting day of the 2018 World Cup Campaign.
Three games on Friday will see Egypt take on Uruguay in Yekaterinburg’s Ekaterinburg Stadium at 3PM-Local Time, while Morocco v Iran will come at 6PM-Local time and Portugal v Spain at 9PM.
Two African representatives and another Asian representative can only bring a promise of another day for goals.
Egypt could have their hopes of a good start boosted by the return of Mohamed Salah after signs of improvement for the Liverpool Star indicate he might feature in their first game.
Salah suffered a fractured shoulder and had since then been undergoing recovery and not taken part in any on-field activity. But, finally, Hector Cuper’s side can have something to smile about as their star-man was able to train with the team on Wednesday and Just in case he does not make it on time, Ramadan Sobhi is on standby to do the job in the starting XI.
On the otherside, Uruguay, unlike Egypt have nothing to sweat about; -they still boast of their best squad as selected by Oscar Tabares and it’s unlikely Sampdoria’s rising star, Lucas Torreira will have a starting and may have to settle for a place on the bench.
A threat upfront in Barcelona striker, Luis Suarez, and PSG’s Edison Cavani. Massive experience in squad and a ray of options are available with the biggest selection headache for Tabares coming up with Martín Cáceres or Gaston Silva at left-back.
If Salah can overcome the discomfort in his shoulder, Egypt could stage a worthy fight just as it was in 2010 when La Celeste last met an African Opponent. The feeling is still bitter, isn’t it? Well, Uruguay won the only previous meeting between the two sides 2-0 in 2006 and it looks like they are much more fancied to win their first in Russia too.
Egypt: Essam El Hadary – Ahmed Fathy, Ahmed Hegazi, Ali Gabr, Mohamed Shafy – Tarek Hamed, Elneny – Salah-Abdallah El Said, Trezeguet – Marwan Mohsen
Uruguay: Fernando Muslera – Guillermo Varela, Jose Gimenez, Godin, Caceres – Rodrigo Bentacur, Matias Vecino, Nahitan Nandez – Giorgian de Arrascaeta – Cavani, Suarez
- Uruguay are unbeaten against African opposition at the World Cup (W1 D2).
- This is Egypt’s third World Cup appearance, their first since 1990. Their last game in the competition dates back to 21 June 1990, when they lost 1-0 against England in the group stage.
- Egypt are so far winless at the World Cup, drawing two and losing two of their four games. In fact, no African team has played as many games in the competition without winning a single one.
- Uruguay were the first World Cup winners, in 1930. They also won on their second participation in 1950. However, they have progressed past the round of 16 only once in their last six appearances (4th place in 2010).
- Uruguay have lost only one of their last eight World Cup group games (W4 D3), against Costa Rica in 2014 (1-3). However, they are winless in their last six opening games (D3 L3), their last victory coming in 1970 (2-0 v Israel).
- This is Héctor Cúper’s first World Cup as a manager. His only previous major tournament with Egypt saw him lead the team to the 2017 African Cup of Nations final against Cameroon, where they went on to lose 2-1.
- This is Oscar Tabárez’s fourth World Cup appearance (after 1990, 2010 and 2014); more than any other manager at this year’s tournament. From the 15 games the Uruguay boss has overseen in the competition, he has recorded as many wins as defeats (W6 D3 L6).
I think Uruguay are favorites to progress from Group A as leaders and a game against Egypt should be their first statement of intent. They have the best two of the best forwards at the Tournament in Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez.
Egypt 1-2 Uruguay