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Egypt vs Russia: Match Preview

Read Sport logo Read Sport 19-06-2018 Tom Mason
© Reuters

Hosts Russia and Egypt come face to face as the second round of group games kick off this evening in Saint Petersburg.

Both sides come into the game after contrasting results in their opening matches. Russia eased to a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, while Egypt suffered late heartbreak in a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay.

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The Egyptians have now failed to win in seven matches across various competitions and face a must-win scenario if they want to progress from the group.

As for Russia, barring the win in their opening game, they have been on a poor run of form which has seen them pick up just one win in their last seven matches.

a group of people playing football on a field: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images Sport © Ryan Pierse/Getty Images Sport Ryan Pierse/Getty Images Sport

Egypt are competing at their first World Cup since 1990 but face the prospect of being eliminated from the tournament less than a week after the first match.

A win for the hosts would all but secure their place into the next stage with Uruguay, who also won their first game against Egypt.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is expected to be fit for this match and will be vital if Egypt are to pick up the right result as the Africans offered very little threat in an attacking sense in their opener.

a group of people playing football on a field: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images Sport © Catherine Ivill/Getty Images Sport Catherine Ivill/Getty Images Sport

Russia’s key man is set to be CSKA Moscow midfielder Aleksandr Golovin who was simply sensational throughout their opening match of the competition where he laid on two assists and scored a stunning free-kick of his own.

This is the first time that the two countries have met in any form of football, so it is set to be an exciting contest.

a group of people playing football on a field: Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport © Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

Arsenal and Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny has spoken to the media ahead of this crucial encounter, as quoted by BBC Sport.

“We all believe that we’re able to beat them. We realise that this is going to be a very tough game against a host nation supported by thousands of fans. We are well aware of that, but we have no option other than winning, which means we need to keep our calm and focus.”

a group of football players on a field: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images Sport © Matthias Hangst/Getty Images Sport Matthias Hangst/Getty Images Sport

In terms of team news, Egypt are hopeful that Mohamed Salah will be fit to return to the side for this game after undergoing a fitness test on his shoulder which he injured in the Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Russia’s Alan Dzagoev had to go off early on in the opener and hasn’t travelled with the squad for the match which means that  Cheryshev is likely to replace him in the starting 11.

Egypt v Uruguay: Group A - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia © Dan Mullan/Getty Images Sport Egypt v Uruguay: Group A - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Elsewhere they are at full health and have a strong group of players to choose upon for the encounter.

This is a crucial match between two very evenly matched sides and one which I expect to be close throughout in what’s an effectively a knockout game for Egypt.

I think that Russia will claim a 2-1 victory this evening.

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(Video by NDTV)

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