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Croatia-Nigeria World Cup 2018

croatia-national-football-team-logo

CROATIA

VS

7418113a97d86a453ea72c7189cf2606

NIGERIA

June 16th, 2018 Kaliningrad Stadium

Day
Hour
Minute
Second

Nickname(s):

Croatia: Vatreni (The Blazers)

Nigeria: Super Eagles

 

The road to the World Cup:

Croatia started their qualification strongly, leading the group and remaining undefeated for the first round of matches. However, consecutive defeats against Iceland and Turkey, as well as a draw against lowly-ranked Finland threatened their progression and caused a public outcry against manager Ante Cacic for his poor team selection and decreased player morale. He was hastily replaced by Zlatko Dalic, who led the team to a crucial 2–0 win against Ukraine in Kiev, securing a spot in the playoff round against Greece. Croatia finalized their qualification with a convincing 4–1 aggregate win over Greece, with all goals coming in the home leg in Zagreb. Since finishing third in their first ever World Cup in 1998, Croatia has failed to ever make it past the group stage. They have made it to the quarterfinals of the European Championships twice but have never won an international tournament.

 

Nigeria on 24 June 2016, The Confederation of African Football released the draw for the 3rd round of the World Cup qualifiers which saw Nigeria grouped in what was described as a "group of death"; alongside Zambia, Algeria and, Cameroon. Nigeria started her group stage matches with a 2–1 win over Zambia in Ndola and defeated Algeria 3–1 in their second match. They went on to beat Cameroon 5–1 home and away in a back to back contest. The Super Eagles of Nigeria became the first African team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating Zambia 1–0 in Uyo after Alex Iwobi scores the vital winner.

 

FIFA Rankings

Croatia:

  • Current- 20
  • Highest- 3
  • Lowest – 125

 

Nigeria:

  • Current- 48
  • Highest -5
  • Lowest – 82

 

Coaches & Captains

Croatia: Zlatko Dalic & Luca Modric

Nigeria: Jernot Rohr & John Obi Mikel

 

Performance and key's players:

 

 

Croatia

Croatia will be competing in their 5th World Cup, with their best showing coming at France 98 where they finished 3rd. Croatia qualified for and competed in three consecutive World Cup finals between 1998 and 2006, but failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after finishing 3rd in Group 6 of their Qualification Group behind England, and Ukraine. Croatia’s midfield is one of the best in international football containing Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic along with Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic and Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic. In defence, Liverpool’s dodgy centre-back Dejan Lovren is a regular starter for the Croatian national team often alongside Atletico Madrid’s Sime Vrsalijko. Juventus’ Mario Mandzukic is almost certain to lead the line for Croatia in Russia as he did at Euro 2016. Croatia is very experienced and well build a team, the middle field is their strength where Modric and Rakitic will show why they are two of the best players in that position. The speed of Perisic and the strength of Mandzukic will produce a lot of chances in attack and we expect Croatia to make another amazing perform.

 

 

Nigeria

The Super Eagles played Argentina in a friendly match in November which they won 4-2, with Iwobi scoring twice. They will, of course, be hoping for a similar result when the two sides meet again in St Petersburg on the 26th of June. Nigeria has never made it past the last 16 at the World Cup and was knocked out four years ago in Brazil by France. This will be Nigeria’s 6th World Cup and they will be desperate to please the millions of African fans supporting them from around the world. Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho & Ahmed Musa will lead the team. Iwobi may come under serious criticism when he is playing for Arsenal, but for Nigeria, he seems to be a totally different player. The 21- year old has scored some big goals for his country and will be desperate to silence his critics this summer. Iheanacho seemed to score every time he played for Manchester City but was sold to Leicester in the summer for around £25 million. Iheanacho will also have a point to prove after not playing much for Leicester this season. Another former Leicester player, Ahmed Musa, plays an important role in Nigeria. The 25-year-old has scored 13 goals for his country and despite struggling at Leicester and moving to CSKA Moscow, he will almost certainly be on the plane to Russia in June. (Or simply waiting for his teammates arriving by plane…). Nigeria is the outsider of the group, but they definitely have some hidden chances to surprise Argentina (again) and Iceland.

 

Prediction

Croatia to win (4 points) 

Both teams to score (3 points)

Over 2.5 goals in the game (2 points)

Mario Mandzukic to score (1 point)

GOOD LUCK!!!

ENJOY THE GAME!!!

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Peru-Denmark World Cup 2018

ea78be45-ce01-4d17-b680-77a977846908_46931_CUSTOM

PERU

VS

1200px-Dansk_Boldspil-Union_logo.svg

DENMARK

June 16th Mordovia Arena

Day
Hour
Minute
Second

Nickname(s):

Peru: La Blanquirroja (The White and Red)

Denmark: De Rod-Hvide (Danish Dynamite)

 

 The road to the World Cup:

 

Peru qualified for the World Cup after defeating New Zealand in the playoffs. In their last game in the qualifications, they finished 1-1 against Columbia, when Paolo Guerrero score the equalizer late in the second half. That result kept to the end and Peru secure the play-offs spot and left the strong team of Chile behind them. After 0-0 in the first match, Peru managed to win with 2-0 at home and that brings a lot of joy and happiness to the country. Last time when the White and Red qualified for the World Cup finals in Spain 1982, they were eliminated in the group stage. Peru looked ready for a good run in the finals and why not they reach the quarter-finals again like they did it back in 1970.

 

Denmark also went through the play-offs stage, after they finished second in their group. They eliminated The Republic of Ireland. This will be the 5th time when the Danish Dynamite is playing in the World Cup finals. In their last tournament in 2010, they were eliminated in the group stage. Denmark never passed the quarter-finals in their history, but they have one European Cup won back in 1992. Their best result in the World Cup was achieved in 1998 in France when they narrowly lost against Brazil with 3-2. Denmark is a very young team and they have a bright future ahead of them, but in this finals, they have to show their best football if they want to pass the groups again.

 

 

FIFA Rankings

PERU

  • Current – 11
  • Highest – 10
  • Lowest – 91

 

DENMARK

  • Current – 12
  • Highest - 3
  • Lowest – 51

 

 

 

Coaches & Captains

  • PERU – Ricardo Gareca & Alberto Rodriguez
  • DENMARK – Age Hareide & Simon Kajaer

 

 

Performance and key’s players:

 

Peru

Peru start their qualification period very bad and after the first 6 games they had only 1 win and 1 draw, the 4 loses came from Columbia, Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay. Then the team start performing better and manage to win the playoff promotions, 1 goal was the difference between them and Chili, but this goal was enough for them to continue. Recently some of the captains of the others national teams show their support for Guerrero and ask FIFA to let him play, even Diego Maradona post in his Facebook that he support the Peruvian captain! Guerrero is back in the team now and he is ready to prove anybody that he is a great player and a leader of the team. The other top players of the team are Andre Carrillo and Jefferson Farfan, they will have the hard task to fill that hole in the front line and create as many chances as they can. Yoshimar Yotun and Edison Flores will be the other players who will be very dangerous in attack. On the goal line will be Pedro Gallese who is very good and talented keeper. Ricardo Gareca is a good coach as well and for sure he will have his team ready for the battles against Denmark and France.

 

 

Denmark

After the amazing win with 5-1 in Dublin, Denmark manages to reach the World Cup Finals. They finished second in their group (behind Poland) and now they are looking to past the group as well. Their new coach Age Hereide manage to build a team with very young players. The superstar of the team is the Tottenham midfielder Cristian Eriksen, who will be and maestro in the middle and he is expected create a lot of chances in the front line. He managed to score 8 goals in 10 qualifying matches. The other stars of the team are Yussuf Poulsen, Lasse Schone, Daniel Wass, Pine Sisto. On the goal will be Kasper Schmeichel. Denmark is very dangerous when they attack and the games against France and Peru will be full of dramatic moments.

 

Prediction

 

Peru draw no bet (4 points)

First Half – Draw (2points)

Under 2.5 goals (2 points)

Paolo Guerrero to score (1 point) 

 

GOOD LUCK!!!

ENJOY THE GAME!!!

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Argentina-Iceland World Cup 2018

30bd02b1e68ef1d01500add7b847f969

ARGENTINA

VS

iceland-association

ICELAND

June 16th, 2018 Otkrytiye Arena

Day
Hour
Minute
Second

Nickname(s):

Argentina: La Albiceleste (The White and Sky Blue)

Iceland: Strakarnir Okkar (Our Boys)

 

The road to the World Cup:

Argentina qualified for the World Cup 2018 after the win in the last match against Ecuador. Before that, they finish tie with Uruguay, Venezuela, and Peru, which put them in danger to miss the final tournament in Russia. In the final match, the hero for Argentina become Leo Messi with a hat-trick. Had the Argentinians drawn their match with Chile on March 23rd, they would have missed out on qualification to the tournament and Alexis Sanchez’s Chile would have qualified instead.  This will be the 16th tournament for Argentina, in their history, they managed to win it twice and finished as a runner-up 3 times. Is this will be the Messi year when he finally will win an international trophy? In 2014 the lost the final against Germany with a goal in the overtime and now they are ready to go all the way.

Iceland is one of the pleasant surprises in the tournament. This will be the first World Cup tournament for the "Our Boys" like they are called back home. Iceland became the smallest nation by population to ever win a spot in the finals. Nine different players scored for Iceland during qualification which shows that they can produce goals from all over the pitch. Iceland may have very few household names but they will definitely be ready to cause an upset. They won their group after finishing in front of Croatia (not they will have the chance to meet again). The Icelandic thunderclap is sure to be heard around Russia this summer as Iceland return to the World Stage.

 

 

 

FIFA Rankings

Argentina:

  • Current – 5
  • Highest – 1
  • Lowest – 24

 

Iceland:

  • Current – 22
  • Highest – 18
  • Lowest -128

 

 

Coaches & Captains

Argentina: Jorge Sampaoli & Leo Messi

Iceland: Heimir Hallgrimsson & Aron Gunnarsson

 

Performance and key’s players:

 

Argentina

In the history of football, Argentina has always been one of the best teams in the world. With only 2 titles back in 1978 (host of the tournament) and 1986 (Mexico) the team badly need to win another title, so they can keep up with their rivals Brazil and Germany. Argentinian team has very strong and powerful attack: Messi, Di Maria, Aguero, Higuain, Dybala are ready to punish any team. The big missing name from the team is Icardi, who recently was the reason for a lot of question to Sampaoli "Why he did not take him to the tournament?" In the middle, Biglia and Banega will have to control the ball and help Messi to organize the game. Otamendi and Mascherano will be position in the centre of the defence and on the goal will be Sergio Romero. Argentina has a very fast team with a great technique, but their biggest weakness is defence. They should put a lot of work on the back line if they want to win the final this year, but with Leo Messi in front, they are one of the favourites for the tournament.

 

Iceland

After the amazing performance in Euro 2016 where Iceland reach the quarter-finals, now it is time for the World Cup. The ‘Our boys" surprised everyone after they passed the group stage and after that eliminated England. In the Euro 2016 they finish their group with no losses, two draws against Portugal and Hungary and a win against Austria at the end with 2-1. We expect a very good performance for Iceland in the tournament, because they show us for the past couple of years that they are able to punish any team and score a lot of goals. Iceland is a well-organized team in the middle and their defence is solid. It will be interesting to see if they can match with Argentina.

 

Prediction

Both teams to score (3 points)

Over 3.5 goals (3 points)

Both teams to score and a draw (1 point) 

 

ENJOY THE GAME!

GOOD LUCK!

 

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France-Australia World Cup 2018

france-football-team-logo-E88170C058-seeklogo.com

FRANCE

VS

australia_badge

AUSTRALIA

June 16th Kazan Arena

Nickname(s):

France:  Les Bleus (The Blues)

Australia: Socceroos

 

The road to the World Cup:

France qualified for the World Cup ahead of Sweden and Holland but surprisingly, scored only 18 goals in the process. On June 9th they lost against Sweden when in the 90+4 minutes they fail to defend and were punished by Toivonen. The most unbelievable result of the team was on September 3rd when they finished 0-0 against Luxembourg at home. The Blues finished on top of the group, but they still didn’t show the class which their fans expected. The defeat against Portugal meant that France became the second nation to lose the final of a European Championship on home soil (after Portugal in 2004), now The Blues has the chance to prove everyone wrong, that they have the potential and the desire to become the World Champions.

 

Australia will be at the World Cup finals for their 5th time in the country history. The Socceroos qualified for the finals after winning against Syria and Honduras. The game against Syria was with a dramatic end and the winner needed to be decided in the overtime, Australia won with 2-1 and then they eliminated Honduras with 3-1. In their last World Cup in Brazil, they were eliminated in the groups, playing against Spain, Chili and Holland was a huge task for them and they had to go home. The Socceroos pasted the group stage only once in their history at 2006 in Germany, but then they faced Italy and were eliminated after conceding a controversial penalty in the 93rd minute scored by Francesco Totti. Australia is the outsider of the group and nobody is expecting a miracle from them.

 

 

FIFA Rankings

 

FRANCE:

  • Current – 7
  • Highest – 1
  • Lowest – 27

 

AUSTRALIA:

  • Current – 36
  • Highest – 14
  • Lowest – 102

 

 

Coaches & Captains

  • France - Didier Deschamps & Hugo Lloris
  • Australia - Bert van Marwijk & Mile Jedinak

 

 

Performance and key's players:

 

 

France

This will be France’s 14th World Cup finals. The Blues are one of the 8 national teams to have won at least one FIFA World Cup title. France won their only title in 1998 when they played on a home soil and defeat Brazil in the final with 3-0. In Russia, they have to show to the world that there is not the same team who lost the European Cup final match, after failing to score against Portugal. France team is full of talent and young stars. Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante in the midfield will be very hard to be beaten and when we add their atomic attack to the equation, lead by their superstar Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe and Osmane Dembele on the wings, The Blues are expected to score a lot of goals this summer. In the centre of their defensive line will play Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane who are very talented defenders and big danger from the corner kicks and free kicks. On the goal will be Hugo Lloris and his back up is the very talented Alphonse Areola. The bench looks very scary as well- Tolisso, Lemar, Fekir, and Giroud are top players and they will be looking for their chance to make a good performance on the national stage. The Blues are one of the favourites in the tournament and we expect from them to reach at least quarterfinals or semifinals.

 

 

Australia

Australia is the outsider in the group and their squad can't compare with anything with the French team. Their biggest star is Tim Cahill who at the age of 38 is still playing for his country. Australia has never won the World Cup and if somehow they managed to continue for next round of the tournament, many sports specialist will call it a miracle. The Socceroos is a  very physical team but have a lot to work on their other skills. For sure they will play well at defence but when it comes to the offence they don't have a lot to surprise with. Mile Jedinak and Aaron Mooy are the players who are expected to created chances and help the veteran Cahill in the front line. We predict that Australia will take the last place of this group not because they are a bad team but against teams like France, Denmark and Peru, any other results will be a great achievement.

 

 

Prediction

France has never played against Australia in the World Cup finals. These countries played 4 games against each other in which France manage to win 2 times, Australia has 1 win in Confederation cup 2001 and they tied once. We don’t expect France to have any difficulties to beat Australia, their biggest challenge will be how to find the weak spot in their defence. We expect France to control the game from the first minute and create a lot of chance using the speed they have on the wings- Mbappe and Griezmann will be the players to watch in this game and we expect them to score some goals. This game will be a good warm-up for the French team, because after that they have to play the tough team of Peru and if they don't secure their spot till then, the last game against Denmark will be a nightmare (we all remember what happened in 2002 when France was eliminated in the group stage from Denmark and Senegal). Australia will play a high pressure during the whole game and they will be patiently waiting for their chance to strike, any lost balls and mistake from French side will be definitely punished by the Socceroos. A lot of people predict an easy win for France but if Australia score goal first, this game may become a huge surprise.

 

France to win the game and over 1.5 goals (5 points) ✅

France to win both halves (2 points) ❌

Goal to be scored in both halves- YES (2 points) ❌

Antoine Griezmann to score a goal (2 points) ✅

 

GOOD LUCK!

ENJOY THE GAME!

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Portugal – Spain World Cup 2018

5a932518772c4212677ed86ed9ea416d

PORTUGAL

VS

20101225200551!Spain_National_Futsal_Team_Badge

SPAIN

June 15th Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht

Nickname(s):

Spain: The Red Fury (La Furia Roja)

Portugal: The Navigators (A Selecao das Quinas)

 

The road to the World Cup:

Spain qualified for the World Cup very easy, winning 9 of 10 games in their group and scoring 36 goals in the process while conceding only 3. Italy finished second in this group, they were no match for the La Furia. The former World Champions from 2010 will be motivated to put a good performance after their early exit in the group stage in 2014. Most of the players who lifted the trophy in Africa are still in the team: Ramos, Pique, Iniesta, Silva. Spain has been one of the best team in the world for the past 10 years and with the help of their young stars, they are capable to reach the final.

 

 

Portugal also won their group and now they are ready for a new challenge. The European Champion from France has a lot to prove after their poor performance in the last World Cup (they finished 3rd after Germany and USA). Nobody is putting them among the favourites in the tournament, but no team will underestimate them, for sure. The Navigators are led by Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest players in football history. Ronaldo has never won the World Cup and looks like this will be his last chance! If Cristiano wins the World Cup, does that make him the GOAT? Can The Navigators do it again?

 

FIFA Rankings

Spain:

  • Current -10
  • Highest -1
  • Lowest -25

 

Portugal:

  • Current -4
  • Highest -3
  • Lowest -43

 

Coaches & Captains

  • Spain- Fernando Hierro & Sergio Ramos
  • Portugal – Fernando Santos & Cristiano Ronaldo

 

Performance and key’s players:

 

Spain

This will be Spain’s 14th World Cup finals and they look well equipped to go all the way to the final. Spain's main issues will be their attack, where Douglas Costa is expected to play. Although Spain’s biggest strength Is the middle field, where they have proven that they are the best team of keeping the ball and create chances (maybe only Germany can beat them with that kind of play). The veterans in the team- Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, and David Silva will be the key players in the middle and when we add Isco to the team, you can be sure that Spain will have control over the game. Their defence is also strong - with Ramos and Piques in the middle, and Alba and  Odriozola on the wings, that line will guarantee for a very solid and organized game in the back. On the goal line will be De Gea - one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The bench of the team is also scary – Asensio, Thiago, Koke, Saul, Nacho are waiting for their chance. Spain has a dangerous team and their opponents have to put the best performance they have against them. On their road to the final, they may have to face Argentina and Germany, but it looks like they are ready for the challenge. Even after they changed their coach 2 days before the start of the World Cup, La Roja is still one of the most dangerous teams in the tournament!

 

Portugal

The European Champion has a much easier group than they did in last World Cup. This will be their 7th appearance in the finals. The Navigators have a good team, as well, led by the superstar – Cristiano Ronaldo. The youngster Andre Silva made a good performance for the national team in the qualification where he scored 9 goals (but his performance for AC Milan was disappointing). In the middle, Portugal has Bernardo Silva and Joah Moutinho who are expected to control the ball and organize the game, behind them is William Carvalho who is a good defensive midfield player. The back line is probably their weakest spot, but they won the European Cup with an extraordinary performance in defence. You never know which face they will show, but if you leave Ronaldo uncovered and a lot of space on the wings against The Navigators, they will punish every single opponent. On their road to the final, they may face France again or Brazil.

 

 

Prediction

Both teams know each other very well. Some of their players play together in the same clubs. We expect a very tactical game from both sides. Spain will have more control over the ball and will have a bigger chance to score, but they will be very patient and wait for the right moment to make their move. Portugal will try to put pressure on the Spanish midfield and use their speed on the wings. Portugal has always had problems in their first games in the finals and Spain is the team with more class and experience. We expect a goal late in the first half for Spain. Portugal will try to come back in the game and will open the zones in the back, which Spain will punish later in the second half.

 

Spain to win the game (4 points)

Both teams to score a goal (2 points)

Correct score: 1-2 (1 point)

 

GOOD LUCK!

ENJOY THE GAME!

Posted on

Morocco – Iran World Cup 2018

Marrocos

MOROCCO

VS

football-federation-islamic-republic-of-iran-iran-national-football-team-logo

IRAN

June 15th, 2018 Saint-Petersburg Stadium

Nickname(s):

Morocco: Atlas Lions

Iran: Team Melli

 

 The road to the World Cup:

Morocco qualified for the tournament without losing a single match. This will be their 5th FIFA World Cup participation. They qualified for the finals for the first time in 20 years. Their last big tournament was in 1998 in France, when they played in a group with Brazil and Norway. In the last game 2 minutes before the end, Kjetil Rekdal scored the winning goal for Norway against Brazil and Morocco had to go home. The Atlas Lions are the first African team who passed the group stage in 1986, losing against West Germany after that with 1-0, they put their names in the African football history.

Iran also is for the 5th time in the finals. One of the most successful Asian team is lead by the former Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz. Iran finished their qualification group without losing a game, the 22 points from their 10 games were enough for them to pass the qualification. Iran has never passed the groups and has only won 1 game in 1998 when they beat the USA. The Melli is the highest ranked Asian team in the tournament since 2014. Can they win their second game? We are about to see!

 

FIFA Rankings

Morocco

  • Current – 41
  • Highest – 10
  • Lowest – 95

 

Iran

  • Current – 37
  • Highest – 15
  • Lowest – 122

 

Coaches & Captains

  • Morocco - Herve Renard & Medhi Benatia
  • Iran- Carlos Queiroz & Masoud Shojaei

 

Performance and key’s players:

 

Morocco

The Lions are one of the best team in Africa and now they will have the chance to face two of the best teams in Europa- Spain, and Portugal. Morocco has a very solid defence and for any team will be a challenge to score a goal against them. Their attack is led by the Southampton star Sofiane Boufal, for who this is the first major tournament in his career. Most of the Morocco players are part of European clubs and for them, this will be a little plus. If Morocco wants to continue to the next stage, they have to put a performance which has to surprise the Europeans giants. Beating Spain and Portugal look impossible, but why not Morocco to put the surprise in this group.

 

Iran

Iran on the other side has also an impossible task in front of them. Carlos Queiroz is well known with his amazing defence strategies (he used to work with Alex Ferguson and was part of the team who won the Champions league 10 years ago) and definitely he is ready for the challenge. The key player of the team is Sardar Azmoun who is playing in Rubin Kazan. He scored 7 goals in the qualifications and an age of 23, he already netter 22 times for his country. Team Melli is hoping to put a good performance in the tournament and bring joy to their fans. The country is going through a tough period and the football may help the people to find happiness and new hope.

 

Prediction

Two evenly matched teams with an identical style of play will bring a real battle on the field. The good defence will be an essential part of this match. We don't expect a lot of action in the first half, both teams will play safe and try not to leave open spaces for the opponents. It is very possible this game to finish with only 1 goal, scored from a free kick or a corner kick.

 

 

Under 2.5 goals (4 points    ✅

First-half draw (3 points)   ✅

Morocco to win(2 points)   ❌

Both teams to score a goal – NO (2 points)  ✅

 

GOOD LUCK!

ENJOY THE GAME!

Posted on

Egypt – Uruguay World Cup 2018

200px-Egypt_FA

EGYPT

VS

WORLD-CUP-Uruguay-NATIONAL-FOOTBALL-TEAM-LOGO-LIGHT-FOR-CHEERING-SOCCER-FANS-LUMINOUS-ELECTRONIC-CUSTOMIZED-CAR.jpg_640x640

URUGUAY

June 15th Central Stadium Yekaterinburg

Nickname(s):

Uruguay: La Celeste (The Sky Blue)

Egypt: The Pharaohs

 

 The road to the World Cup:

Uruguay finished second, after Brazil in the South America qualification group. The two-time world champions won 9 of their games, finish draw in 4 and conceded 5 loses. With 12 goals difference, they are the second best attack in South America. Uruguay has a number of top quality players in their side along with their brilliant strike force.

 

Egypt has qualified for the FIFA World Cup three times in their history: in 1934, in 1990 and 2018. Egypt was the first African country to qualify for the World Cup. On October 8th, 2017 Mohamed Salah scored 2 goals against Congo to secure their spot in the finals, the game finished with a dramatic penalty kick in the last minute of the game, which Salah scored. The Pharaohs have never actually won a match in the final tournament, despite they are one of the best African teams with 7 African Cup of Nations trophies. Egypt players will be desperate to become part of Egyptian history this summer!

FIFA Rankings

Uruguay:

  • Current – 14
  • Highest – 2
  • Lowest -55

 

Egypt:

  • Current - 45
  • Highest – 9
  • Lowest – 75

 

Coaches & Captains:

Uruguay: Oscar Tabarez & Diego Godin

Egypt: Hector Cuper & Essam El Hadary

 

Performance and key's players:

 

 

Uruguay

Uruguay is favourites to win Group A, but this will no be an easy task. They have to achieve a good result in their first 2 games because the last game they have to face the host Russia. The Sky Blue has very experienced and well-balanced team, with strong players in each line of the defence, midfield, and offence. In the last tournament in 2016(Copa American Centenario) Uruguay could not past the group and was defeated by Mexico and Venezuela. Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani, Diego Godin are the leaders of the team, alongside Maxi Pereira who is the players with most caps for the team. Cavani is having the best season in his career so far and he will be on fire, Suarez is an incredible striker who has a lot to prove on the national stage after his unreasonable actions in the two previous tournaments (handball against Ghana in 2010 and biting Giorgio Chiellini in 2014). Diego Godin will help to tighten the defence and ensure that Uruguay qualify from Group A. Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur is definitely one to watch. The 20-year-old could announce himself to the world this summer and will be desperate to grasp onto the opportunity to represent his country.

 

Egypt

Egypt has a very good chance to past the group stage for first time in their history. For a team which never won a game in the FIFA World Cup tournament, we should say that this is their best chance ever. Mohamed Salah is one of the best players in the world right now, thanks to his performance as Liverpool reach the Champions League final. He also got the Player of the Year award in Premier League. Salah will be the main treatment and the man who will make the difference in Egypt matches. The other player you should pay attention to is Arsenal's player Mohamed Elneny, who will keep the midfield tight and is likely to play an instrumental role against any team who wants to hit Egypt on the counter-attack.

 

Prediction

Uruguay is the favourite in this game. They have the better attack and a lot more experience on the international stage. Suarez and Cavani are one of the best strikers in the world and definitely, they will score goals. Egypt will start very nervous and they will try to play the ball around Salah and use his speed on the wing. The Pharaohs has a good defence, but we doubt that they will hold the atomic attack of Uruguay. Uruguay will have more chances in the game and we expect them to score goals in both halves. Egypt may score a goal as well, but we don’t think that this will be enough for them to take a point in this game. They will have more chances against Russia and Saudi Arabia.

 

Uruguay to win (5 points)   ✅

Over 2.5 goals in the game (3 points)  ❌

Uruguay to score in both halves (2 points)  ❌

GOOD LUCK!

ENJOY THE GAME!

Posted on

Russia – Saudi Arabia World Cup 2018

MATSPORTS

RUSSIA

VS

MATSPORTS

SAUDI ARABIA

June 14th  Luzhniki Stadium

Nickname(s):

Russia- Sbornaya

Saudi Arabia-  Green Falcons

 

The road to the World Cup:

Russia did not participate in the qualifications because there are hosting the tournament. Sbornaya has appeared in ten World Cups in their history. They won the first edition of the respective continental competition in 1960  as the Soviet Union ( of with Russia is the successor).

Saudi Arabia secured their place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 win against Japan in their last AFC Round 3 Group B match. The Green Falcons finished in second place in the group behind Japan with 19 points, but they secured their place in the finals thanks to a goal difference ahead of Australia who also has 19 points! Russia 2018 will be the fifth appearance for Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup after qualifying for the first time back in 1994 in the US. They featured in three consecutive finals afterwards (1998,2002 and 2006) before missing the last two editions in South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.

FIFA Rankings

Russia:

  • Current- 66 (April 2018)
  • Highest -3 (April 1996)
  • Lowest -66 (April 2018)

 

Saudi Arabia:

  • Current – 70 (April 2018)
  • Highest- 21 (July 2004)
  • Lowest -126(December 2012)

 

Coaches & Captains:

  • Russia : Stanislav Cherchesov & Igor Akinfeev
  • Saudi Arabia: Juan Antonio Pizzi & Osama Hawsawi

 

Performance and key’s players:

Russia

This is the first time in history when Russia will host the FIFA World Cup. The whole country is hoping that this tournament will erase the shame from 2014 World Cup when the team was eliminated in the group stage after losing to Belgium and failing to beat South Korea and Algeria. Finishing in 3rd place with no win 2 draws and 1 loss the Russian team had to go home early then they expected. The Russians were also poor at Euro 2016 and picked up only 1 point in the group stage against England. Stanislav Chercheshov`s men will be hoping to impress not only their home fans but the billions of fans around the world who will be watching. The home crowd will be their 12th player and it is time for this team to show the world their true potential. There are opening against the outsider in the group and they should take a good result because Egypt and Uruguay will not give up easy!

The key’s men in the team are Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Aleksandr Kokorin (Zenit St Petersburg) & Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit St Petersburg). Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal) and Aleksandr Samedov(Spartak Moscow) have to put a good performance as well!

 

Saudi Arabia

Finishing as runner-up was not an easy feat as Saudi Arabia pipped Australia to the second spot through a marginally better goal difference. Saudi Arabia may not be a powerhouse, but Juan Antonio Pizzi is a good coach (regardless of what Chile may think) and he will have them ready for the tournament. Their chances to past the group stage are very low and they have to play against the home team in their first game, this will be a huge challenge for them! Interestingly, Saudi Arabia did not have a single player in their squad who played their club football outside of the country! Until Fahad Al-Muwallad came on for Levante in La Liga in early May.

The key’s men in the team are Nawaf Al-Abed (Al- Hilal), Fahad Al-Muwallad (Levante) and Yanya Al-Shehri (Al Nassr).

 

Prediction

We expect a very nervous game for both teams. Russia will feel the pressure on their shoulder in the beginning and they will try to keep the ball more often than the Falcons. The Russians will have the help from the crowd and they will attack very strong. Saudi Arabia will try to defend as best as they can and play physical on the back lines. We expect a lot of free kicks and corner kicks in the game and Russia to score a goal around the 30-40 min in the first half. The second half will continue with a high pressure and mostly battle in the middle of the field and a late goal will seal the victory for the home team. This is a very important game for Russia and they have to win it no matter what.

Russia to win (5 points)  ✅

Russia to win first and second half (1 point)  ✅

Correct score: 2-0 (1 point) ❌

 

GOOD LUCK!

ENJOY THE GAME!!!