After an impressive start of their World Cup campaign, in which they thrashed Saudi Arabia, Russia are now facing a fairly difficult challenge – Egypt. This team lost to Uruguay in the opening round and now has no other option but to try to beat the World Cup host. This would sound as a mission impossible for them, but Egypt will have Mohamed Salah in the team on Tuesday evening. So, can Salah and Co. beat Russia in Saint-Petersburg, the country’s second-largest city?
Although Russia are the worst-ranked team of all the teams competing in this tournament, they showed real class in their first match. In the World Cup opener, they simply destroyed Saudi Arabia, beating them 5:0. In that game, everything worked well in Russia’s team, from their back line to their attack. The only bad thing in that match was the moment when their midfielder, Alan Dzagoev got injured. It seems that the injury is serious and that we’re not going to see him playing at the tournament anymore.
But, his replacement, Denis Cheryshev, really impressed when he came on the pitch, scoring two goals, the second of which was a true masterpiece. Still, he wasn’t crowned the man of the match. That title went to Aleksandr Golovin, a 22-year-old midfielder, who everyone thinks is going to have a great career.
But, despite beating Saudi Arabia with such a great goal difference, it doesn’t mean that Russia are big favorites against Egypt. Their second opponent is much stronger than Saudi Arabia, especially in the attack, now that Salah is back. The good news for Russia is that their team is famously good when defending. So, it’s fair to assume we’re gonna witness a real battle between Russian defenders and one of the best forwards on the planet.
Egypt lost to Uruguay by 1:0, in a match in which they seemed as the better side on several occasions. In the final quarter of the match, Egypt decided to defend their goal and go for a draw, but then Gimenez ruined their plans by scoring a header in 89th minute.
What this means is that Egypt are now on the 3rd spot in the Group A and if they are serious about getting to the knockout stage, they will have to try to beat Russia. But, do they have the quality for such a feat?
It seems that even without Salah in the team, they would be able to do well against Russia. They have plenty of very good players in all positions, which they proved in the match with Uruguay. But, now Salah is back and Egypt will go into this game with a lot of confidence.
Mind you, Salah got injured in the Champions League final, which kept him sidelined for several weeks. The injury in question was a shoulder injury, which meant that Salah was able to do fitness training while recovering from it. That said, he seems physically fit to play all 90 minutes against Russia.
Akinfeev – Ignashevich, Granat, Fernandes, Zhirkov – Cheryshev, Golovin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Zobnin– Smolov
El Hadary – Hegai, Gabr, Fathy, Shafy – Hamed, Elneny, Bekhit – Salah, Warda, Mohsen
Russia vs. Egypt Match Prediction
You can’t say that Egypt is a one-man team, but I do believe Salah’s appearance on the pitch is going to give all of their players a lot of boost. Egypt will go for a win from the very first moment and I do believe they’re going to achieve their plan.
Russia vs. Egypt Betting Tips
- Egypt @3.90 (bet365)