Egypt – Uruguay

Egypt who have never won a match in the World Cup before will be hoping to surprise Uruguay when they meet on Friday. The last time that Egypt appeared in the World Cup was back in 1990 and prior to that their only other participation was back in 1934. Uruguay meanwhile will hope to do better then the last 16 they made in the last World Cup in Brazil. They have played in 12 World Cups and have won the World Cup twice in their history.

Under the guidance of Argentinian coach Hector Cuper, they have improved considerably. They even reached the finals of last year’s African Cup of Nations, but were beaten in the final by Cameroon by 2-1. Egypt managed to beat the likes of Uganda, Ghana and Congo where they managed four wins, one draw and one defeat in their group. That was enough to bring them back to the World Cup after 28 years of absence. Their last appearances was back in Italy 1990.

Egypt have lost three out of their last six friendlies played before the World Cup. They were beaten by Belgium 0-3, Greece 0-1 and Portugal 1-2. While their draws were against Colombia 0-0, Kuwait 1-1 and Ghana 1-1. The big questions is whether their talisman Mo Salah will eb available for this match. Chances are he will be on the bench and could come on as a substitute at best. So this will be a big test for them on how they can cope without Salah in the team.

They have never won before in the World Cup, and I cannot see that changing in this match against a strong team like Uruguay.

In the South American Qualifiers they took second place behind Brazil in a very tough South American qualifiers for this competition. They are the favourites to top the group and it can be said that the draw was kind to them. They will not fear Egypt and Saudi Arabia too much, so their biggest threat will come from hosts Russia who defeated Saudi Arabia in their opening match by 5-0.

In the build up to the World Cup, Uruguay have played six friendlies and have only lost once in that period against the likes of Austria when they were beaten 1-2 away. Their wins were against the likes of Uzbekistan 3-0, Bolivia 4-2 and Paraguay 2-1. They drew with Poland and Venezuela and in both games it ended 0-0. They will look to the likes of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez in attack to get the goals for them in this match.

Meanwhile as for the team news, they will not have the likes of defender Vaerla due to a minor injury, while center-back Lemos, midfielder Pereiro and striker Rolan are all out of action due to injuries as well.

They are the firm favourites to get the win here and I can see them getting a comfortable win over Egypt here.

Prediction: Both teams to score @2.20 in

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