While the 2018 FIFA World Cup gets started on Thursday, June 14, the meat of the action really starts on the following day. The opening day of the tournament is always reserved for the hosts and their opening game, after which the schedule begins to get really hectic. Friday will feature a trio of games from Group A, the one that holds Russia and their opponent, Saudi Arabia, as well as Group B. It is Uruguay who are in as the clear favorites for Group A, as they are in with 3 other teams that they really should blow through. It would appear that the real battle here is for second place, and who lands in that spot is likely going to depend on whether or not those teams can get anything off the favorites. It will be Egypt who get the first crack at the South Americans on Friday, but it looks as though they are going to need to do it without the services of their best player, Liverpool’s Mo Salah. He has been seen in training, but is unlikely to start, which should give Uruguay an even bigger advantage here.
— Read Int. Football (@ReadIntFootball) June 11, 2018
⚽: Egypt Vs Uruguay (Group Stage, Group A, Matchday 1 of 3)
🏟️: Ekaterinburg Arena
⏰: Friday, June 15 at 8 AM EST
🎰: Uruguay -½ -1 -125 | -164 | O 2 -115
Why bet on Egypt
Handicapping this group has proven to be especially tough, mostly because we don’t know enough about the injury status of Salah. Things in the Egyptian camp have been decidedly quiet on that front, although Salah was seen out dribbling the ball on Tuesday afternoon, for whatever that is worth. The feeling is that he will play some role in the 3 games. The feeling is that he will play some role in the 3 games that Egypt play, but when he gets in and how much of an impact he can truly make remains to be seen. The reality here is that Egypt are likely going to need to bunker down in this one and try to frustrate Uruguay. I don’t see them as being much of an attacking force here, as this is likely to be more about damage limitation than anything else.
The reality here is that Egypt are likely going to need to bunker down in this one and try to frustrate Uruguay
Why bet on Uruguay
It is Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez who get all the headlines, not always for the right reasons in the case of Suarez, on this team, but they are a solid unit all around. The defense is a whole lot better than people expect, which has been on clear display in Uruguay’s most recent stretch of games. During that run, Uruguay won 8 of 9, and saw their goalkeeper and defense keep a clean sheet in 6 of those matches. We have all been talking about how many they might score when perhaps we should also be talking about how tough they are going to be to break down. Uruguay should be comfortable in this group, so I look for them to take a patient approach in this one as they try to break down what is sure to be a tightly-packed Egyptian defense.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Uruguay are not going to be too concerned about lighting things up here, as goal difference is not likely to be a factor in this group. This will be more about avoiding mistakes and coming away with the win, which I believe they will.
Predicted Score: Egypt 0 Uruguay 2
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