Egypt vs Uruguay World Cup Prediction, Betting Tips and Preview
Egypt vs Uruguay prediction, preview and betting tips for match number two of the 2018 World Cup. After nearly three decades of waiting, Egypt returns at the FIFA World Cup when The Pharaohs will challenge Uruguay in their first Group A encounter. Both sides have been drawn in Group A of the 2018 FIFA World Cup where except Egypt and Uruguay, we also find the host nation Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Egypt and Uruguay will play their first 2018 World Cup match at the “Central Stadium” in Yekaterinburg.
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H2H (Head-to-head): Egypt vs Uruguay
Some of you, especially the fans of these two nations, may actually remember that Egypt and Uruguay have already met in a friendly football match on 16 August 2006. That was one of the first few tests for Oscar Tabarez after his second appointment as an Uruguayan head coach in March 2006. The friendly meeting took place in Alexandria, Egypt, where Uruguay won 2-0 with a goal by Diego Godin and an own goal by Egyptian defender Abdel Zaher El-Saqqa, both coming in the second-half.
Egypt Team Preview
The long waiting for Egypt has ended in the moment when Mohamed Salah showed composure and scored that decisive extra-time penalty against Congo last October. Thus the Pharaohs have secured themselves the first position in their qualifying group and Egypt will finally taste the FIFA World Cup spirit for the first time since Italy 1990.
The experienced Argentine Hector Cuper managed to transform Egypt after he was appointed by the Egyptian Football Association in March 2015. From a side that missed the last six World Cups and three consecutive Africa Cup of Nations editions, after winning it three times in a row in period 2006-2010, Egypt quickly turned into one of the Africa’s finest once again. Well, we can’t say that is something unfamiliar for the most successful Africa Cup of Nations team with its seven trophies. Well, we can’t say that is something unfamiliar for the most successful Africa Cup of Nations team with its seven trophies. First, the Pharaohs were very close to the eighth but were eventually runners-up at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, losing the final against Cameroon. However, unlike their past three Championships, when Egypt won the trophy but failed to qualify for the World Cup, this time Egypt surpassed its opponents in the World Cup qualifications.
Egypt’s Key Players: Ahmed Hegazy (West Bromwich Albion), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Egypt scored eight goals in its qualifying group and five of them were scored by Liverpool’s forward Mohamed Salah, including the two goals for the crucial 2-1 win over Congo. You can easily estimate how important the English Premier League top goalscorer is not only for his club, but for his country as well. So everyone in Egypt surely lived a nightmare when Salah went out injured (shoulder injury) after a collision with Sergio Ramos during the 2018 Champions League final. Nevertheless, everything with the “Egyptian King” should be fine and the Egyptian Football Association expects him to recover in time for the World Cup.
If we assume the worst possible scenario and Salah misses out the first match, or he is not fully fit to start from the outset, then Hector Cuper may look for an alternative in Trezeguet‘s face. The winger of Turkish Kasimpasa had an outstanding season in the Süper Lig where he scored 13 goals and delivered six assists in 31 rounds, so he is surely followed by the major clubs in Turkey and abroad. The 23 years old Mahmoud Ibrahim Hassan, known as Trezeguet, normally competes with Stoke City’s Ramadan Sobhi for a position on the left wing, but a potential absence of Mo Salah may open space for both. Anyway, Sobhi looks favourite to start on the left wing against Uruguay, despite the not so impressive season he had in Stoke.
The link between Egypt and the Premier League continues with the likes of defender Ahmed Hegazy and defensive midfielder Mohamed Elneny, although there also are other Egyptian footballers who also play in English clubs. The 27 years old Ahmed Hegazy started in all 38 rounds for his West Bromwich Albion throughout the season and even though they have relegated, Hegazy was relatively stable, especially in closing part of the season. Moreover, he was the leading centre-back for Egypt in all qualifying matches. The main question is who will be partner of Hegazy in front of the 45 years old veteran goalkeeper Essam El Hadary.
Arsenal’s midfielder Mohamed Elneny was a key figure for The Pharaohs in qualifying and although he wasn’t a key figure for The Gunners in the past campaign, the 25 years old will play pivotal role for his country in Russia without question.
Uruguay Team Preview
Uruguay of Oscar Tabarez is set for its third consecutive FIFA World Cup appearance, making it out of the group stage in both previous occasions. With a mix of excellent young players and a core of already proven names, Uruguay finished second in the CONMEBOL (South American) World Cup qualifying, scoring 32 goals in 18 rounds. In fact only Brazilians, who were on top, had scored more goals (41) than Uruguay and surprisingly defense wasn’t the biggest strength of the Charruas. Actually Uruguay had the worst defensive record among all top four teams, conceding 20 goals. However, these 32 goals which Uruguay scored have tipped the scales in their favour, as part of them came with some impressive victories over Colombia (3-0), Chile (3-0), Paraguay (4-0), as well as a 2-2 draw in Brazil. Thus the two-time World Cup champions have qualified for the 2018 edition, which will be their 13th World Cup participation in overall.
To mark the progress and also stability gained by the Uruguayans over the past decade, we must note that this was the first time when Uruguay qualified for the FIFA World Cup with no need to play a playoff since 1990. The Charruas, led by Oscar Tabarez for the first time, have directly qualified for the 1990 World Cup (where they have reached the Round of 16 and lost to host nation Italy) but had to play inter-confederation play-offs the next three times when the team qualified – in 2002, 2010 and 2014. In addition to the three won inter-confederation play-offs against Australia, Costa Rica and Jordan, respectively, we must also say that Uruguay lost a playoff (against Australia) for the 2006 World Cup, which inspired “El Proceso” with the second appointment of Oscar Tabarez in 2006.
Uruguay’s Key Players: Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Edinson Cavani (PSG) and Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
One of Uruguay’s biggest advantages comes with the partnership between experienced captain Diego Godin and his younger centre-back partner Jose Gimenez in their club team Atletico Madrid. We all know the philosophy of Diego Simeone and how important is the defensive look for the Atleti’s manager, and that is something that surely has its positive impact over the Uruguayan selection. Oscar Tabarez is surely delighted that his two central defenders have had key contribution for the recent UEFA Europa League triumph of the Spanish club. Apart from another stable season for the rock-solid Diego Godin, the 32 years old captain of Uruguay was the second most capped player (16) after goalkeeper Fernando Muslera (17) during the World Cup qualifying.
The other two key players who both have had crucial impact over Uruguay’s positioning are the two attackers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. The latter scored 10 goals in 15 games, which saw him on top of the goal scoring chart in the South American qualifying. Thus the PSG forward surpassed other reputable players like Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez, Gabriel Jesus, James Rodriguez and Neymar.
Luis Suarez added five more goals for Uruguay and even though the Barcelona striker wasn’t as prolific as his partner Cavani, Suarez is yet the all-time goalscorer having 50 goals in 97 international caps. Just remember how dangerous Uruguay was with both Suarez and Cavani up front in the 2014 group stage, beating England and Italy, and how weakened the squad was without suspended Suarez in the 1/8 final against Colombia. Moreover, what to say about the 2010 selection, that finished fourth in South Africa, when Tabarez could rely on the trio Cavani/Suarez/Forlan.
Egypt vs Uruguay Prediction and Betting Tips
Egypt and Uruguay are the two Group A sides that hope to finish on top of the standings and to spoil any intentions of the host nation when it comes to progressing to the knockout stage. Although both teams are mostly known for their attackers, we should pay special attention to their defensive lines.
If the Uruguayan centre-back duo looks easy to predict but at the same time extremely solid, Egypt’s coach Hector Cuper still has an important decision to take as he must choose a partner of Ahmed Hegazy. One of the options is Ali Gabr, who is a teammate of Hegazy in WBA but has failed to record any first-team football this season. Al Ahly’s Saad Samir, who was Hegazy’s partner in the 0-0 draw vs Colombia on 1 June, is another option, while Zamalek’s Mahmoud El Wensh is the third option. This is one of the main issues of Hector Cuper, who must also deal with the fact that all Egyptian players are Muslims who celebrate the Ramadan until 14 June, which is a month-long period of a religious fast. Although there are some exceptions who should closely stick within the fasting and who can eat, it’s still not clear whether all Egyptian players are fasting or not. And we all remember that some Muslim players have suffered serious setbacks in their career because of religious fasting that seriously affects their match fitness and form.
On the other hand, Uruguay looks really sharp with Suarez and Cavani as an attacking pair and thereby the not so certain Egyptian defense will face a serious challenge to stop them. We must also highlight the likes of experienced winger Cristian Rodriguez and his younger teammates Nahitan Nandez and Giorgian De Arrascaeta, who will all contribute for the attacking potential of Uruguay.
We believe that Uruguay will surely score in this match and the Pharaohs won’t be able to stop the attacking strength of the Charruas. On the contrary, Egypt will have to score at least a goal as well, if The Pharaohs really want to earn a point or points in their 2018 World Cup return, with or without Salah. And if Uruguay boasts a very solid centre-back duo, situation on both backs is not so convincing where Oscar Tabarez used some not so experienced (on international level) players in the pre-World Cup friendlies. This can open some good scoring chances for Egypt, especially if Mohamed Salah is ready to play here. Just imagine – what if Salah has Diego Laxalt (for example) as his opponent on the wing, who is not a typical defender, but Tabarez used him as a left-back in several occasions.
Our betting prediction suggests: “Both teams to score – Yes“. With a duo Cavani/Suarez on one side and with Salah/Trezeguet/Sobhi on the other side, both teams surely hold some goal scoring potential in their lines. We found great value in currently suggested odds, more than 10 days before kick-off time.
Possible Lineups of Egypt and Uruguay
Venue: “Central Stadium”, Yekaterinburg.
Egypt: Essam El Hadary (c) – Ahmed Fathy, Ahmed Hegazy, Saad Samir, Mohamed Abdel Shafy – Mohamed Elneny, Tarek Hamed – Mohamed Salah, Abdallah Said, Ramadan Sobhi – Marwan Mohsen. (4-2-3-1).
Uruguay: Fernando Muslera – Guillermo Varela, Diego Godin (c), Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Laxalt – Nahitan Nandez, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Cristian Rodriguez – Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez. (4-4-2)