Monday, 20 August, 2018

Russian Federation 3 - 1 Egypt | 19 Jun 2018

Mohamed Salah JAAFAR AFP Getty Images
Kristopher Love | 20 June, 2018, 04:47

Egypt looked composed in the first half, having welcomed back Mohamed Salah who sat out the opening 1-0 defeat by Uruguay after coach Hector Cuper opted not to rush him back into action after he recovered from a shoulder injury.

Egypt will be looking to put a dent in hosts Russia's FIFA World Cup campaign and keep their hopes of progressing from Group A alive at the Krestovsky Stadium tonight - here are the confirmed line-ups of both sides.

Cheryshev was one of the heroes of Russia's opening win 5-0 against Saudi Arabia and another, Dzyuba, rattled in the third three minutes later.

Egypt coach Hector Cuper has announced his side's squad, with Mohamed Salah returning to worldwide action, having missed the Pharaohs' last five games, including the Uruguay defeat.

The Egyptian Football Federation (EFA) laid that decision exclusively at Cuper's door, maintaining the 26-year-old was fit to face Uruguay but deemed not ready for the risk.

Now the Soccerbot has digested the film, crunched the numbers, and broken down every single player on Russian Federation and Egypt. - Egypt has also failed to score in each of its last three World Cup matches, last finding the net in the competition against Netherlands at Italia 90.

Cheryshev, who entered the World Cup as a fringe player, is proving lethal in front of goal, with his latest a side-footed effort from close range from Mario Fernandes' cross in the 59th.

However, an own goal from veteran full-back Ahmed Fathi just two minutes into the second half had a damaging effect on Egypt, who needed a win to stand a realistic chance of reaching the second round.

Said's quick ball allowed Trezeguet to latch onto it and attack down the left before cutting inside and unleashing a shot that whistled past the right post. But for a large majority of the game, the Egyptian king seemed to have lost his sceptre of influence. Russia enters this Group A game at +110 on the money line, meaning you'd need to wager $100 on a Russian victory to win $110.

Two victories from their first two matches would guarantee Russia's qualification for the knockout stage and a possible matchup against either Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal of high-octane Spain. As Grzegorz Krychowiak, whose back pass led to the second goal, headed Poland's only goal in the 86th minute.

It was hardly a classic but the hosts cemented their lead with two neat goals within three minutes, with Denis Cheryshev and Dzyuba himself finishing off neat moves. Egypt lost their first match against Uruguay and they will now look to fix their campaign.

EFA declarations over Salah's fitness are one thing, but whether his stellar 44-goal form from Liverpool this season can be rediscovered is the major source of intrigue. The forward also single-handedly carried Egypt into the World Cup for the first time since 1990.