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2018 World Cup Preview – Part 2

Egypt

 

Having been the first African side to feature at a World Cup in 1934, they’ll be making their third-ever appearance, having previously qualified for the 1990 edition where they finished 20th overall.

 

FIFA Ranking: 31

 

Manager: Hector Cuper – In his spell as Egypt manager (started March 2015), he led his side to their first African Cup of Nations final since 2010 last year, but lost the title to Cameroon.

 

How they qualified: Deep into stoppage time against Congo, it was up to PFA Player of the Year Mohamed Salah to score from 12 yards. He made no mistake, thus sending the home crowd, and players into raptures.

 

Star player: Mohamed Salah –  No doubt will he be an important figure for his side, having totalled an exceptional 71% of goals in qualifying, having scored in all six of their qualification matches. They’ll need him to reproduce his league form if they’re to qualify for the next round!

Embed from Getty Images

 

Uruguay

 

The South American side will be raring to have controversy-free World Cup this time around, given the Luis Suarez shenanigans in Brazil four years ago, and in South Africa 2010. The two-time champions will be going for a third World Cup, having not won since 1950.

 

FIFA Ranking: 21

 

Manager: Oscar Washington Tabarez – In his first stint between 1988-1990, he took charge of Los Charruas (The Charrua), and lost out at the round of 16. His second stint, which he’s taken on since 2006 (following Uruguay’s failure to qualify, following a playoff loss to Australia) has seen the side perform better on the world stage, having reached the semi-finals of the 2010 tournament, and reach the last 16 of the 2014 tournament.

 

How they qualified: A solitary second-half strike from Paris St Germain star Edinson Cavani from a Luis Suarez assist sealed qualification versus Peru.

 

Key player: Luis Suarez – Despite the controversy of the last two tournaments, the Barcelona forward will be looking to make headlines in the right way, having scored five World Cup goals in total, showing how prolific he is.

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