World Cup Russia 2018: Group A
Russia vs. Saudi Arabia
Egypt vs. Uruguay
Russia vs. Egypt
Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt
Uruguay vs. Russia
Group A is an average group of national teams with lower ranks in FIFA. Group A seems to be a very equilibrated group. Each team stands equal chances to go to the next round of the World Cup.
Russia FIFA ranking :65.
Russia was qualified directly as a host nation without playing the qualification rounds. Russia had a very lucky draw and they have big hopes of going to the next round of the competition.
They have a chance to win their first game against the ambitious Saudi Arabia and boost their morale and make Russian fans happy. The manager of the Russian team is coach Stanislav CHERCHESOV.
Most of the Russian players play in the Russian Premier League and they know each other very well . Being on home ground can galvanize the team and make them successful. The most important players of the Russian squad are:
– midfielder Igor Denislov , who is in conflict with his team coach and he may not end up in the squad
– Igor Akinfeev the goalkeeper and captain of the squad, who can bring peace of mind in the defence with his skills experience .
– Feder Smolov, twice winner of the Golden Boot in the Russian premier league. He is the striker who will be a problem to the opponents.
Russian manager will put his hopes in a lot of young players who will play for first time at a world cup competition .
Egypt FIFA RANKING: 31
The coach of the Egyptian team is the Argentinean, HÉCTOR CÚPER .
Egypt managed to qualify again to the World Cup after 28 years, making fans very excited .After their African cup performances, they are motivated and have big hopes of winning. Egypt’s team playing style is very defensive, their defence being very difficult to break.
They don’t tend to score a lot but are very good with not concealing goals, their games are not very exciting to watch but their style is effective and they managed to, of course, qualify to a World Cup by playing this way. The team attacking power is low, they are putting all their hopes in the Liverpool star, right winger Mohamed Salah .
The Liverpool star may not be totally recoverd after his shoulder injury at the final of the Champions League against Real Madrid, where he clashed with Sergio Ramos. In the middle, they have another creative player who could influence the team, the Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny.
Another important player in the Egypt squad is the veteran 45 years old goalkeeper and captain
Essam El-Hadary, who is going to be the oldest player in World Cup history. Essam El-Hadary will bring peace of mind in defense with his maturity, experience and skills.
Saudi Arabia FIFA RANKING: 63
The coach of the Saudi Arabia team is the former Chile national team coach, Juan Antonio Pizzi. They qualified for the first time to the World Cup in 2006. To qualify to the world cup they beat another 2018 participant, Japan. Most of the team players are playing in the Saudi premier league and they also know each other very well. Mohammad Al-Sahlawi, striker for Al-Nassr is their most important player – he scored 16 goals in the world cup qualification rounds. He is the player who can bring the victory for Saudi Arabia. In the midfield, coach Pizzi is relying on midfielders Taisir Al-Jassim and Nawaf Al-Abed, who are another two important players who can help Al-Sahlawi with scoring. They will open the World Cup 2018 playing their first game against Russia. The host team will have a difficult game against a team with unknown players who are united, ambitious and motivated.
URUGUAY FIFA RANKING: 21
The coach of the Uruguayan team is : ÓSCAR TABÁREZ
Even if the group A is very equilibrated, the favourite of this group is without any doubt Uruguay.
The Uruguay team struggled to prove themselves in the last 2 Copa America tournaments. They have a very quick and effective attack strategy but struggle in defence. Uruguay is a team that can score a lot without wasting any chance, having an powerful attack, like Barcelona’s Luis Suárez and Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani. The team is counting on first time World Cup participants like Matías Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Nahitan.