RUSSIA v EGYPT
Live on BBC One. Tuesday June 19, kick-off 7pm
MUCH was said about Russia in the build-up to their opener with Saudi Arabia, “they lack quality”, “ they don’t have anyone that excites”, “they will struggle to score goals”, the list goes. My word though did they give the world two fingers as they blew away Saudi Arabia with an emphatic 5-0 hammering.
It was a tremendous result for the unfancied hosts, albeit against a very poor Saudi team but you can’t take anything away from them. 5-0 in a World Cup match is sensational and will really have made people stand up and take note.
Egypt on the other hand started off their campaign without their main man Mo Salah and it was no surprise to see them lose to Uruguay. It did take until the 90th minute for Uruguay to find the winner but they dominated and missed 5 or 6 gilt-edged chances.
The Egyptians offered very little offensively so it will be no surprise to see Salah back leading the line in St Petersburg. They’ll certainly need him to be on his A game as this Egypt side have scored just once in their last 5 matches.
It’s a difficult game to suss out, Russia would settle for a point that should see them qualify, whilst Egypt know they must win this if they have any hope of qualifying. The bookies certainly think this will be a tight game with few goals but I’m not so sure. Russia were terrific on Thursday and will have gained a huge amount of confidence from that.
Yury Gazinsky and Alek Golovin were on fire against the Saudis with three goals and two assists between them. With Russia being the hosts and brimming with confidence I see this being an open game, especially with the return of Salah giving Egypt some much-needed firepower and also just his return to the side will give everyone a lift.
- Over 2 goals Asian handicap (39-40, 10bet)
- Both teams to score second half (11-2, Skybet)
- Golovin (10-1, Unibet)
- Goal in each half
- 4+ corners each half
- (4-1, Skybet)