When: 19TH June, 23:30 IST
Where: Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg
Head to Head
This will be the first meeting between the two sides.
Russia: L L L D W (decent form)
Egypt: L D D L L (poor form)
Predicted Starting XI:
Russia: Igor Akinfeev (GK), Mário Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Yury Gazinsky, Denis Cheryshev, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Aleksandr Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Aleksandr Samedov
Egypt: Mohamed El-Shenawy (GK), Ahmed Fathy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy, Mohamed Elneny, Tarek Hamed, Mo Salah, Trézéguet, Abdallah Said, Marwan Mohsen
At the verge of tournament exit, Egypt needs some inspiration to continue and all eyes will be on one man – Mo Salah. The Liverpool winger was widely expected to make an appearance in Egypt’s opener against Uruguay but was kept on the bench throughout the game. He is now expected to start against Egypt, and an entire nation’s hopes will rest on his shoulders.
Russia scored more goals in the first game of the 2018 World Cup than in the whole of the 2014 tournament in Brazil, where they netted just twice in three group matches.
Their performance against Saudi Arabia was so impressive that Russian President Vladimir Putin felt compelled to call head coach Stanislav Cherchesov during his post-match press conference, telling him to pass on his congratulations to the players.
Players to watch out for:
Mo Salah: The Superman is set to return from to the team after the injury he picked up during the champion’s league final. This will be a big boost for Egypt who needs this three points desperately.
Alan Dzagoev: He remains sidelined with the hamstring injury that saw him withdrawn against Saudi Arabia, allowing another chance for his replacement Denis Cheryshev to shine following a two-goal performance as a substitute.
Aleksandr Golovin: The host nation was searching for a young hero for a long time now and they have found one in Golovin. The 22-year-old had an extraordinary outing the other night and will be one of the mainstays against Egypt.
Mohamed Elneny: The Egypt mid-fielder will not only be keen to score but also will look to assist Salah more. Elneny completed 44 passes versus Uruguay in their first game, the most by an Egyptian player at the World Cup.