Verdict: Russia win
Best Odds: 11/10
On Tuesday night, World Cup hosts Russia face Egypt in the Krestovsky Stadium. This clash could be pivotal in who qualifies for the knockout stages of the competition from Group D. A defeat for Egypt is likely to lead to the Pharaoh’s exit from World Cup 2018.
Russia made a dream start to World Cup 2018 on home soil by recording a sensational 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in their opening game. The win was much needed as it ended a seven-game run without a victory for Stanislav Cherchesov’s team.
Depending on the result in the other game, a win could see the home nation qualify for the knockout stages. However, as Egypt showed in their opener against Uruguay they are not easy opponents for any team.
Influential playmaker Alan Dzagoev picked up an injury in the opener. Dzagoev’s replacement against the Saudi’s Denis Cheryshev score a brace and looks set to start this game.
The presence of Cheryshev will mean a switch to the number ten role for influential playmaker Aleksandr Golovin, who scored once and produced two assists against Saudi Arabia.
Egypt produced a very strong display in their opening game against Uruguay, only to concede a late Jose Gimenez goal to suffer a 1-0 defeat. The Pharaohs struggled to create much going forward against the South American team.
However, the African nation were without star player Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah who was only fit for the bench. Hector Cuper’s side were strong in defence against Uruguay. They will be hoping to offer a bit more of an attacking threat against the hosts.
The African nation are expecting star player Mohamed Salah to return to the starting line-up for this clash. No doubt the African side will be much the stronger for the forward’s return. Midfielder Tarek Hamed could miss out due to a hip problem.
Russia headed into this competition on the back of harsh criticism from their home media. The criticism arose because of their lacklustre displays in their warm-up friendlies.
However, their display and result will give the home side major belief that they can record a victory in this clash and move one step closer to the knockout stages. The return of Salah to the starting line-up will help Egypt, but the momentum certainly seems to be with the home nation heading into this one.
Verdict: Russia Win
Best Odds: 11/10