Hot off the heels of a comprehensive 5-0 opening day win over a hapless Saudi Arabia, Russia head into this match ahead of an Egypt side who are smarting after conceding late on against Uruguay.
No time to lick wounds however as Egypt have got to get themselves back on track if they’re to throw the group open as a Russia win will see the hosts through for the first time!
For Russia, most players are fit, with the exception of Alan Dzagoev who had to be checked upon, and Yuri Zhirkov who suffered a minor ankle problem, so had to train away from the team, but his issue didn’t appear to be too serious, so that’s a positive.
On the Egypt Front, star man for Liverpool Mohamed Salah took part in full training, and is clear to play in this crunch fixture (according to technical staff). Ahmed Fathi suffered a minor strain, so couldn’t take part in training, but the medical team pointed out that his injury wouldn’t prevent him joining the next session, or taking part in other games.
This will be the first ever meeting between the sides, so vital bragging points are of for grabs here!
Russia have been good against African sides in previous tournaments, having won three times, and drawing once, scoring 13 goals in the process, with six of the goals coming against Cameroon at the 1994 tournament (though still failed to reach the next round).
(Thanks to FIFA.com).
Egypt will be raring to recover from their gut-wrenching loss last time out, and Russia will be looking to earn the points which’ll see them qualify from group for the first time. With all due respect to Saudi Arabia, Russia will be up against much sterner opposition.
Egypt will need a fit Mohamed Salah if they’re to get anything out of this game!
I’m going for a 2-1 win for Egypt – a result which’ll see the group thrown wide open heading into the final day of Group A fixtures.