FIFA World Cup: Saudi Arabia VS Egypt, Match Prediction

Saudi Arabia VS Egypt

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt, Kick-off Time: 7:30 P.M. (IST) 

Saudi Arabia will take Egypt on in their final match in the World Cup on Monday at the Volgograd Arena.

At times you have nothing left to play for but just for the matter of pride and honor. That’s exactly what Egypt and Saudi Arabia are competing against each other for in their upcoming match. Both the teams are winless and have certainly been eliminated from the 2018 World Cup.

They were unable to match the dominant performances delivered by Russia and Uruguay in their group stage. Both these teams will still hope to walk away from the tournament with at least one win as the upcoming match is their last shot.

Saudi Arabia faced a devastating match loss against hosts Russia on the day of opening and a close defeat to Uruguay in the second round. The squad will have to give their best in order to find a way to shut down Premier League star Salah if they hope to pull off a victory.

Mo Salah and the Pharaohs enter their last match after their 1-0 defeat against Uruguay and their 3-1 defeat to the hosts Russia. Salah will be determined to restore his honor by at least getting a win in their last match at Russia.

If either Saudi Arabia or Egypt lose this match, they would be the first team to lose all three matches at the group stage this 2018 tournament, and they will also be the first to lose the same at a World Cup since Honduras in 2014.

Team News

Saudi Arabia: Saudi has failed to horribly to make a mark in the World Cup. They have tried shifting tactics and formation but without any reward. 

Egypt: With no new injury concerns, Mohamed Salah will look to guide his team to their first victory in this World Cup. He is backed by a solid supporting cast that includes Premier league duo Mohamed El Neny and Ahmed Hegazi.

Key Players

Saudi Arabia: Mohammad Al-Sahlawi is Saudi’s best player and was one of the most prolific strikers in their qualifiers. Though he has failed to make a mark in this World Cup, The 31-year old will hope for redemption in their final World Cup match.

Egypt: Mohamed Salah has been the only player to score for Egypt this World Cup. The Liverpool forward is undoubtedly the best player on the Egyptian squad and his country need him to be in top form if they want to bow out of the World Cup with their heads held high.

Form – Last 5

Saudi Arabia: L | LL | L | L

Egypt: L | L | L| L | D

Betting Odds – Sky Bet

Saudi Arabia 18/5

Draw 13/5

Egypt 17/20

Score Prediction

Saudi 1 – 2 Egypt: Both the teams have been in a terrible form which has led them to be shipped out of the World Cup in the group stage. Out of the two, Egypt seems to be the stronger side and will likely win with a close margin.

Where to watch?

TV Channels (India) – Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six – 7:30 P.M IST

In addition, you can live stream all the Matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup from 14th June to 15th July only on the Official SonyLIV App and the SonyLIV Website

FIFA World Cup, Highlights: Uruguay 1 – 0 Saudi Arabia

Uruguay VS Saudi Arabia

Luis Suarez converts the only chance on the night for Uruguay as they go past Saudi Arabia

For Saudi Arabia, the equation was clear, they needed to get the win if they stood any chances of the team to qualify for the knock-out stages of the tournament. On the other hand, for Uruguay, it was more than easy as all they needed from this game was three points and they would qualify for the next round of the tournament.

Saudi Arabia came into the encounter with a brutal 5-0 loss against Russia on the opening day of the World Cup. Uruguay, came into the game winning their first group game against a Mohammad Salah-less Egypt side. Additionally, it was a huge game for Suarez after his careless evening against Egypt.

The game was initially set for a thrilling contest as both the sides fretted each other’s attack with ease. However, the game got more intense every time the South America side pushed forward. It took Uruguay only 23 minutes to go ahead in the game, when Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al Owais flapped an empty hand at the ball, with the ball reaching the legs of the Barcelona striker Luis Suarez.

Suarez took the invitation gleefully as he buried the ball into the bottom right corner giving Uruguay a much-deserved lead at 1-0. A tough Uruguayan defence was on display on the night, as the Saudi team tried to level best to break the wall.

A dull and boring second half:

Post-half-time, both the sides were looking to push their agenda back on the match with Uruguay defending deep as Saudi tried to attack from the different flanks. The result was that the Saudi attack was not strong enough to break the barrier set by Diego Godin and men.

Saudi Arabia will now turn to its final game against Egypt, another pointless team, to salvage something from this Cup. For Uruguay, the fight to stay at the top of the table will be decided after their final encounter against now-toppers Russia, who have scored 8 goals in the tournament.

FIFA World Cup: Uruguay VS Saudi Arabia, Match Prediction

URUGUAY vs Saudi Arabia

Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia, Kick-off Time: 8:30 p.m. (IST)

Saudi Arabia is under the pump after their horrendous opening day loss to the hosts Russia in the Group A encounter. A 5-0 loss has led to many rumors of the Saudi Arabian players being punished and harassed for their loss. However, all those rumors are brushed aside by the management as the team is rearing up to face the South American giants Uruguay.

Uruguay won their opening game against a tough Egypt side with defender Jose Gimenez scoring the winner for the South Americans. It will be a first-time encounter for Oscar Tabarez’s side facing the Saudi Arabians. The two-time World Champions are looking to progress to their third consecutive edition in a row.

Saudi Arabia would be looking to bounce back from the loss:

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is ready to put aside their sorrowful performance against Russia. Their winless run stretches way back in the footballing history when they lost won in the 1994 World Cup at the United States of America. However, against a tough defensive opposition in the form of Uruguay, it would be a tough task cut out for the attacking unit.

Records, however, is on the side of the Middle Eastern nation who have remained unbeaten in the two friendlies that they played in 2002 and 2014. Since then, however, the two nations have never met in any competitive games leading up to their clash in the World Cup.

Team News:

Uruguay’s striker and leading from the front Luis Suarez will be playing his 100th game against the Green Falcons when he takes his place on the pitch. With 51 goals in his international career, the sharp-shooter would be looking to add to his tally come this encounter against Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is likely to go with the same playing XI that was beaten hands down by the hosts Russia in the opening fixture of the tournament.

Match prediction:

With the tournament being unpredictable, it would tough to call out the predictions for this encounter. However, with the form that the South Americans are in, the match is likely to go in their favor with a scoreline reading 1-0 or 2-0.

Where to watch?

TV Channels (India) – Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony ESPN – 8:30 P.M IST

In addition, you can live stream all the Matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup from 14th June to 15th July only on the Official SonyLIV App and the SonyLIV Website.

Aleksandr Golovin: The new Pride of Russia

aleksandr-golovin

Aleksandr Golovin is possibly one of the hottest prospects in the world right now more than ever. After Golovin stole the show in Russia’s World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia, the fans have lost their minds in lieu of the young Russian star’s ability.

The 22-year old created the opening goal for Yuri Gazinskiy after just 12 minutes with an inviting cross and. The young playmaker was at it again with when another well-flighted cross was nodded home by Artem Dzyuba in the 71st minute. Just when fans began to believe that Russia and Golovin had their fill, the youngster scored the final goal from a well-placed free-kick in the 94th minute.

Who is he?

Aleksandr Golovin currently plays for the club CSKA Moscow. The breakout Russian star was named in Russia’s 2018 World Cup squad and is currently competing in his home country.

He joined FC Novokuznetsk in 2009 and played with the team’s youth club for about three years before joining CSKA Moscow in 2012. Golovin became a key player Russia’s 2013 UEFA European Under-17 Championship victory and also played a crucial role in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Golovin his league debut in March 2015 and later represented Russia in the 2015 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, helping then earn a second place position in the tournament. He made his debut for the Russian national football team on June 7th, 2015, during a friendly match against Belarus and has since earned 20 caps for his country’s senior team.

What’s next for him?

A number of teams have shown interest in the Russian star and that is before his scintillating world cup performance yesterday. Among others, European giants Arsenal have been the most closely linked with the youngster.

Even though Arsenal have a decent line of talented forwards, the fans are demanding Unai Emery to reignite the club’s long-standing interest in Golovin. He was heavily linked with a move to north London last year with Arsene Wenger admitting he was a fan of the CSKA youngster ahead of the Europa League quarter-final clash back in March. Golovin highlighted his class in that match with a sumptuous free kick in a 5-1 defeat at the Emirates Stadium and now replicated his effort in yesterday’s opening match of the World Cup.

Unai Emery has chosen to strengthen his defence and midfield so far and the Gooners are now hoping for the new manager to sign a host of attacking talent, starting with the Russian star, Aleksandr Golovin.

Even if he doesn’t end up with the Gunners, the star is now a point of interest for a host of European clubs including, Manchester United, Juventus and Everton. It is clear that the football fans absolutely adore the young Russian and posses a strong admiration for his skills.

FIFA World Cup: Russia dominate in a one-sided encounter against Saudi Arabia

Russia VS Saudi Arabia

Hosts Russia were always under pressure going into the game, after being winless in the last seven friendlies that they have played prior to the tournament opener. What would have made Russia feel better that they faced the slightly less competitive team in the form of Saudi Arabia?

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia was quite not the settled side coming into the tournament, with as many as three coaches in the last seven months. While they were on par with Russia in terms of their attacking caliber, their defence has not always been on the par with some of the top teams.

Yuri Gazinskiy opened the scoring for the hosts, while an unsettled Saudi Arabia side was still finding their feet on the World’s biggest stage. However, star man Alan Dzagoev had to be stretchered off the pitch, after it looked like a nasty injury to the right-hamstring of the star.

Denis Cheryshev found his form on the night:

Denis Cheryshev replaced the fellow Russian and played on the left-wing in a slightly more comfortable position for the Villarreal man. Not only did the winger do well in the opening minutes of his appearance on the pitch, but also scored the second goal that put Russia in a comfortable position.

The hosts started the World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament but the hosts were a class above Saudi Arabia, with striker Dzyuba’s header stretching the lead in the 71st minute. With a 3-0 lead, it was a matter of time before the hosts wrapped the Group A encounter with two points in their bag.

With Dzagoev missing it was for the left-footed Cheryshev to show his quality and leave a mark on the game on the night. The left-footer hit a fantastic injury-time goal, finding the top corner with a sublime shot with the outside of his left boot.

However, four goals on the night were not quite enough for the hosts, who looked determined and hungry for more on the night. Further, in the extra-time, Golovin bent in a brilliant free-kick to finish the match in style.

Pizzi’s men had a rough night at work:

A first World Cup win for Russia since 2002, in an encounter as Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men, struggled to create a chance of note as they failed to record a shot on target. Not only did the away side give away numerous possessions in the middle of the pitch, but they also gave away too many loose balls for the hosts to score in the Group A encounter.

Group A looks more than set at the moment, with Russia taking a five-goal advantage in the opening fixture of the tournament. With Uruguay and Egypt being the two other teams in the group, it is almost but certain that Russia might go through against-all-odds.

However, there is Mohammed Salah’s Egypt, which can cause a havoc in the group. With Salah in such purple form, the left-footed player might well just lead his team to the knock-out stages or will Russia’s defence hold out the attacking force of the Egyptian mastermind.

FIFA World Cup Preview, Group A: Russia vs Saudi Arabia

russia vs saudi arabia

This is arguably one of the less excited opening match-ups in the tournament. After having the home side Brazil in the opening game last year, this year the World Cup opens to host nation Russia play the 67th ranked Saudi Arabia.

Over the next 32 days of fun-filled International football encounters, the hosts would look to surprise a few by entering the knock-out stage of the tournament. The opening game is between the two lowest ranked sides in the tournament, with Russia themselves three places below Saudi at 70.

In all probabilities in the tournament, Russia and Saudi Arabia are likely to be the two sides that are going to be knocked out first in the tournament. However, the group also features Egypt and Uruguay, with the South American side looking strong at topping the table.

The form of both the sides is a worry for the tournament:

The form of both the sides is nerve-wracking as Russia are without a win in their last seven games, while Saudi Arabia comes into the game off consecutive losses against Italy, Peru, and World Champions Germany. While Russia has played previously in the World Cup, Saudi has last participated in the tournament 12 years ago.

In their last three World Cup group-stage appearances, Saudi Arabia has lost seven and drawn two of their nine group games. Never has the World Cup hosts being beaten in the opening fixture of the tournament, with Russia going into the tournament keeping that in their mind.

Russia’s last victory came in October 2017 against South Korea when they beat them 4-2 at home. However, since then nothing has gone on their side. The Hosts hardly impressed at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup while also being a disappointment in the Euros the previous year.

Compared to the other head coaches of the World Cup participating countries, Stanislav Cherchesov has had the worst win percentage (26.3%). Further, it has to be said that Russia is relying heavily on their star goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

Who’s going to be key for both the teams:

With Aleksandr Kokorin, who was one of their star players prior to the tournament being injured, the chances of Russia qualifying into the playoffs still remains in doubt.

Much will depend on the 32-year-old goalkeeper to keep the home side at bay, with the other teams looking to attack the home team. The custodian further has an impressive record between the sticks, 18 clean sheets in 28 games all season.

What can we expect from the Saudi Arabian side, who face the hosts in the opening game of the tournament…

Various reports suggest that Russia would go in a 4-2-3-1 lineup for the opening game of the tournament. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is likely to employ an untraditional and uncanny 4-1-4-1 formation for the opening game.

The visitors came into the tournament after having sacked a couple of coaches before their appointed Juan Antonio Pizzi managed to keep the team in the bay from the past seven months. Further, it has to be said that The Green Falcons have played like a top side in their 2-1 narrow loss against Germany.

What Pizzi might opt in the opening game against Russia and the rest of the World Cup is giving their star striker and veteran Al Sahlawi a place in the playing XI. With nearly not many star-players in the playing XI, it would be difficult for the Middle Eastern side to notch up a win against the home side against 12 players.

Predictions:

The home side Russia would edge Saudi Arabia by a goal, in a match which will likely finish at 1-0 for the hosts. The last time that the two sides played against each other, where Saudi Arabia defeated the Asians 4-2 way back in 1993.

Where to watch?

TV Channels (India) – Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony ESPN – 14th June, 8:30 P.M IST

In addition, you can live stream all the Matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup from 14th June to 15th July only on the Official SonyLIV App and the SonyLIV Website.

Asia At The World Cup

Japan Australia Iran South Korea Saudi Arabia

5 Asian teams get ready to represent their country at the World cup and have started their preparation by playing friendlies against various teams around the globe. Let’s take a look at what promise they hold and a few things they need to tweak before Russia 2018.

 

Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia is the lowest ranked team in the tournament and they will have a mountain to climb at their first World Cup since 2006. They will be facing Suarez led Uruguay, Salah’s Egypt and the home team Russia backed by their home support and will have to pull off a huge surprise, if they are to make it to the next round of the competition. They qualified for the world cup after edging Australia on goal difference in the group- B of the AFC Asia qualifiers.

Japan:

The dismal performance at the 2014 World Cup still looms over the heads of the Japanese as they look to overturn their fortunes. For the Samurai Blue to fire, their three main superstars need to fire on all cylinders- Shinji Kagawa, Shinji Okazaki, and Kasuki Honda. After sacking their previous manager citing the lack of communication, the Japanese are desperate to well in a group of Colombia, Senegal, and Poland which seems to be relatively open.

 

South Korea:

The hopes of Korean success at the world cup rests on the shoulders of ace Tottenham striker, Son. But it would take something extraordinary to make it through a group consisting of Sweden, Mexico and the current world champions, Germany. Their FIFA ranking of 61 is higher than the combined rankings of their opponents. Low expectations from the team have certainly reduced the pressure from the team but will be a huge surprise if they extend their stay until July.

 

Australia:

Australia is yet another team that will be looking to make a statement at the world cup. Their 38-year-old warhorse, Tim Cahill might yet again be called upon for his services for the Socceroos, although he has played only 90 minutes of football during the entirety of last season and will only be called upon if the times are tough. He has scored during his last three world cups and seems to be their go-to man for the big occasions. They have a tough group but is passable as they have to play France, Denmark, and Peru.

 

Iran:

Iran was probably the most prolific team to qualify from Asia. The qualified with relative ease way back in June with a 2-0 win against Uzbekistan. They topped their group with great efficiency and are also the strongest Asian side at the World Cup. Their group, however, seems too hard for them to fight off with former World champions Spain and Portugal pitted against them and will need to pull off a miracle to go through.