The hosts put themselves in front foot with a 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the World Cup 2018 and could become the first team to qualify for the round of 16 with a win against Egypt on Tuesday evening.
The Pharaohs on the other hand, worked so hard against Uruguay and seemed to have salvaged a point before a later header from Atletico Madrid defender José Maria Gimenez sent them to a 1-0 defeat. Their second Group A game against Russia is vital and nothing less than a win will keep them in the race for round of 16 qualification.
A Russia win on Tuesday combined with Uruguay avoiding a defeat against Saudi Arabia will send the hosts to the round of 16. If Egypt bag three points here, then they remain in the competition, but may still need a big win against Saudi Arabia in the final group game.
Russia Team News
It was different looking Russian side in the tournament opener at Luzhniki Arena, most of those were forced changes driven by injuries. He also used a 4-4-2 formation as opposed to the preferred 3-5-2. Things are likely to remain the same on Tuesday and the only change in the starting line-up will be the inclusion of Denis Cheryshev for the unlucky and injured Alan Dzagoev.
Russia Predicted Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Akinfeev – Zhirkov, Ignashevich, Kutepov, Fernandes – Zobnin, Gazinskiy – Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev – Smolov.
Egypt Team News
Mohammed Salah was not used during the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay and he is expected to start here as Egypt is chasing valuable three points.
At the same time, Hector Cuper is handed fresh selection head-ache with Amr Warda and Mahmoud Trézéguet picking up knocks late in the game at Yekaterinburg and remains a doubt for Tuesday.
Egypt Predicted Starting Line-up
El Shenawy – Abdel-Shafy, Ali Gabr, Hegazi, Ahmed Fathy – Tarek Hamed, El Neny – Abdallah Said, Warda, Salah – Mohsen.
Russia vs Egypt Head-to-head (h2h)
The two teams from Group A, Russia and Egypt are meeting for the first time in a competitive football game.
Russia vs Egypt Predictions
Russia’ road to the World Cup has been rocky, but the massive win on opening day give them enough confidence for the remainder of the campaign. Stanislav Cherchesov’ preparations for the tournament has been marred by injuries to a number of his first team players and a win-less run since October 2017. Things look bright now, especially with Aleksandr Golovin and Denis Cheryshev in fine scoring form.
Mohammed Salah’s return to the line-up could boost Egypt’s confidence. But I am afraid that they are too defensive for major periods of the time. They cannot push players forward as a team unlike Uruguay who are in excellent rhythm. I had said this before, with or without Salah, Egypt had struggled for goals and they will be on the receiving end if stay back and defend against the Russians. Neither have they won a game outside their home country since October 2016.