Egypt vs Uruguay: Two time World Cup winners to take care of business

La Celeste have too much talent especially in Suarez and Cavani
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Uruguay's Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez ar going to cause Egypt all sorts of problems (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt vs Uruguay Preview & Betting Tips


Egypt take on Uruguay at the Ekaterinburg Arena in their first outing at the 2018 World Cup. The South Americans are favoured to top Group A and will be hard to beat.

Egypt


It’s been a long wait for the Pharaohs, playing one game at the 1934 World Cup with their only other appearance coming in Italy in 1990 where they went out in the group stage.

Managed by 62-year-old Argentine Héctor Cúper since 2015, Egypt have a solid spine of Premier League players in Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Elneny, Ramadan Sobhi and Mohamed Salah.

Expectations are high for the seven time African Cup of Nations winners who qualified for Russia courtesy of a last gasp penalty to Salah who has become a national hero. His shoulder injury in the Champions League final meant he joined the squad late and is no certainly to start against Uruguay.

Salah provided an incredible 36 goals and 10 assists for Liverpool this season and it’s no exaggeration to assume that the hopes of a nation are riding on his shoulders.

The Pharaohs have struggled in recent friendlies, failing to win in their last five matches including a 3-0 defeat against Belgium last time out. 

Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah is racing against time to be fit for the clash against Uruguay. (KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Uruguay


La Celeste have a proud record in the World Cup after winning in 1930 and 1950. This is their 13th World Cup appearance after getting knocked out of Brazil 2014 in the Round of 16 against Colombia.

Luis Suarez was suspended for that clash after his Dracula impersonation against Italy but when on the pitch with Edinson Cavani, the South Americans have one of the most deadly attacks at the World Cup.

71-year-old manager Óscar Tabárez is the oldest and longest serving manager in Russia having been in charge since February 2006. Atlético Madrid colleagues Diego Godín and José Giménez will hold the team together from central defence behind a rejuvenated midfield that includes Rodrigo Bentancur, Nahitan Nández, Lucas Torreira and Matías Vecino.

Uruguay stayed at home to prepare for the World Cup, playing one friendly against Uzbekistan in Montevideo which resulted in an easy 3-0 win. 

Match Up


These nations met once in a friendly in 2006 at the Alexandria Stadium with Uruguay winning 2-0.
The South Americans have a great squad with steel in central defence and two lethal strikers. Egypt will have a difficult time coping at both ends of the pitch. Salah’s injury complicates matters even further.

Key Statistics


  • Egypt have never won a match at the World Cup.
  • Egypt have failed to win in their last six matches (All competitions).
  • Uruguay are competing in their 13th World Cup.
  • Uruguay beat Italy and England in Group D at the 2014 World Cup.
  • Edinson Cavani topped the South American World Cup qualifying scoring with 10 goals in 18 matches.
  • Luis Suarez has scored 5 World Cup goals.

Verdict


Any chance Egypt have seems to be riding on their talisman and superstar Mohamed Salah. Salah might not be risked here with easier games against Russia and Saudi Arabia to come.

Uruguay have a far superior squad with more pedigree at this level. I can’t see past an easy win for the South Americans here.
It’s difficult to choose between Suarez and Cavani in the goalscorer markets so for some extra value we turn to the handicap market.

Best Bet: Uruguay Win @ 1.64
Handicap Bet: Uruguay -1 @ 2.80
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Matthew Marshall 12 June 2018

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