With the World Cup kicking off in just over a fortnight, Group A will be the first to take centre stage as hosts Russia look to try and get their first home World Cup off to positive start. Dan McCarthy looks at the possible outcomes of the group.
(14th June, 16:00)
Russia to win by two goals against Saudi Arabia @ 14/5 - BET NOW
Russia arrive into their home World Cup with a real chance of progressing through to the round of 16. Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are their Group A opponents in arguably one of the weakest yet most open groups in the tournament.
The hosts have not been in great form recently, with their last win coming in a 4-2 triumph over South Korea in October. However, their friendlies have been against tough opposition with the likes of France and Brazil taking on Stanislav Cherchesov’s men.
It is always very difficult to gauge the form of the hosts before a World Cup as they have not had to play any competitive games for some time, but they should have enough to get past the Saudis.
Saudi Arabia arrive into the World Cup as the lowest ranked team in the tournament and don’t have any obvious star players in their ranks. The majority of their squad plays in their home league and a few dotted around in Spain.
With that in mind, you would expect Russia to get a comfortable victory to kick off the tournament.
(15th June, 13:00)
Uruguay to beat Egypt with both teams to score @ 7/2 - BET NOW
The other clash to get Group A underway sees Uruguay, regarded by many as the favourites to top the group, take on an Egypt side competing at their first World Cup for nearly 30 years.
Uruguay look particularly strong in attack, with Luis Suarez of Barcelona playing alongside Edinson Cavani, who has scored 40 goals for Paris Saint-Germain this season in only 47 games.
However, Egypt will be desperate to make a mark in their first World Cup since 1990, yet may enter it with a cloud under them.
Mohamed Salah went off injured in Liverpool’s Champions League final loss to Real Madrid and is a real doubt for the competition with early reports suggesting he dislocated his shoulder.
If Salah is unavailable then Egypt will lose their superstar player and may struggle for inspiration to take on Uruguay.
However, should the winger be fit, all of Egypt’s play will go through him and judging by their friendlies recently, they will adopt a counter attacking approach and try and hit Uruguay on the break when they send men forward.
Suarez and co will probably have too much for Egypt, but it could be a entertaining clash where both sides will score.
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