The hosts from Russia opened the 2018 World Cup off with a bang. Meanwhile, Egypt were unfortunate to come away with nothing in their opener. These two meet in on Tuesday, June 19th.
What To Know About Russia
The Russians got a pair of goals from Denis Cheryshev in a 5-0 romp over Saudi Arabia to open the tournament. Iury Gazinsky kicked off the scoring in the 12th minute, then Cheryshev put Russia up 2-0 in the 43rd minute. Artem Dzyuba essentially ended the game in the 71st minute, while Cheryshev and Aleksandr Golovin added goals in injury time. It was the best performance from Russia in a long time from front to back. Even though Saudi Arabia had 59% of the ball, Russia never really felt like they were in trouble, and took their chances at the other end. However, Alan Dzagoev had to leave the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. It appears as though he will miss the rest of the World Cup. Cheryshev came on for Dzagoev and was fantastic, but Russia will need a full squad if they want to go further.
What To Know About Egypt
Egypt did not start Mohamed Salah as their star watched from the bench. However, they battled hard until the end and were unlucky to fall 1-0 to Uruguay due to a late goal. Goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy kept Uruguay at bay and Egypt actually defended quite well, considering the difference in talent between the two teams. However, they really missed Salah, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury that he suffered in the Champions League. Manager Hector Cuper said that Salah was almost certain to play against Uruguay, and Egypt’s attack was toothless as a result. Still, Egypt can be proud of their performance against Uruguay, who are the favorites to win Group A. Still, Egypt needs all the help they can get and if Salah can play on Tuesday, he has to play.
Russia are the World Cup favorites in this game at +125, while Egypt comes in at +260 and a draw is rated at +225. This will be the first meeting between these two countries in international soccer. Russia are not as good as they looked against Saudi Arabia, and Egypt showed that they could be a well-drilled and disciplined team. They know that a loss would end their World Cup dreams, so expect them to sit back and try to hit Russia on the counterattack. If Salah plays, he might not be at 100%. However, Russia will have to respect him and that creates space for the rest of the team. That being said, Salah’s teammates did not create much against Uruguay. This game looks like it could end up as a draw or a win for Russia, and the latter should be expected if Salah does not play. It will be a scrappy affair, and Egypt will need to play the game of their lives to stay afloat at the World Cup.
World Cup Betting Pick: Russia
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