18th of June 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Russia are looking to secure qualification from FIFA World Cup Group A when they meet Egypt at Saint-Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday. The two sides have never met before on the international stage. For Egypt this is only the third World Cup final tournament, their only previous qualifications were in 1934 and 1990 and they are still looking to win their first World Cup match. Russia have never managed to get past the group stage after the Soviet Union era, but before 1990 they did reach the quarter-finals on three occasions.
Host nation Russia had a great start to their World Cup, they thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the tournament and that means they would secure qualification if they manage to beat Egypt as well. Denis Cheryshev scored twice for Russia against the Saudis, with Yuri Gazinskyi, Artem Dzyuba and Aleksandr Golovin also getting their names on the score sheet. Cheryshev was the man of the match even though he started on the bench and replaced injured Alan Dzagoev after 24 minutes. Dzagoev suffered a hamstring injury and will most likely miss Tuesday's match.
Egypt had an unlucky start at the 2018 World Cup, they played without star man Mohamed Salah against Uruguay and seemed capable to hold out for a draw, but Jose Gimenez scored on 89 minutes to deny the Egyptians the draw they had been fighting for. That result leaves Egypt with two options for Tuesday's match, draw or win, another defeat would send them home. It is unclear whether Mohamed Salah would be fit to play against Russia, but given the desperate situation of the team the Liverpool man will probably be risked anyway.
Russia: Akinfeev - Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignasevich, Zhirkov - Gazinskyi, Zobnin - Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev - Smolov
Egypt: El-Shenawy - Fathy, Gabr, Hegazi, Shafy - Hamed, Elneny - Salah, Said, Trezeguet - Mohsen
My prediction: Egypt to win 2-1, Russia had a very easy opening match but Egypt are a lot stronger than Saudi Arabia.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Russia win - 2.14
Draw - 3.25
Egypt win - 3.90
29th of June 2018
After that 5-0 at the start the expatiations have been raised to the roof for the home side and they prevailed in the game against Egypt too.
It's another matter that the Africans didn't shown the football they were expected to show.
After two games the Russians had 6 points, 8-1 goal difference - quite unexpected, although the toughest battles were still ahead of them.
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