World Cup Group A Tips – Russia 2018

Tournament hosts Russia will go up against Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay in Group A at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This will be Russia’s second World Cup since 2002, while Uruguay will be hoping to make the knockout stages for a third successive time.

Inspired by Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah, Egypt will be making their first finals appearance since Italia ’90. As for Saudi Arabia, after missing out in 2010 & 2014, they have qualified for their first World Cup since Germany 2006.

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Russia and Saudi Arabia get the 2018 World Cup underway in Moscow on Thursday afternoon, followed by the Egypt v Uruguay matchup at the Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg on Friday. Russia are the clear favourites to get past the Saudis, whilst Uruguay should be too strong for Egypt on Friday. With a lot to play for in these first matches in World Cup Group A, which nations will get their tournament off to the perfect start?

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Russia v Saudi Arabia, 16.00, 14th June 2018

After years of planning, months of preparation and countless hours of waiting, the 2018 World Cup in Russia is finally upon us. Competition hosts Russia will be looking to get their tournament up and running with three big points on Thursday. Stanislav Cherchesov’s troops welcome Juan Antonio Pizzi’s Saudi Arabia to the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow this Thursday afternoon.

Despite a few games at last summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup, Russia have played virtually no competitive football over the past two years. Nevertheless, they are the strong favourites to take the points against a country who have not won a World Cup game since beating Belgium in June 1994. However, after a strong qualifying campaign, the Green Falcons, who recently appointed former Chile boss Pizzi, are not heading to Russia just to make up the numbers.

Having said that, though, Russia will be expecting to win well in Moscow on Thursday. Three points on the board ahead of next Tuesday’s tasty clash with Egypt will do very nicely for the tournament hosts, and we can’t see them having any problems in their opening game. Cherchesov’s side are good enough to keep the Green Falcons at bay in this one, so back Russia to win to nil at the decent odds of 21/20 with BetVictor.

Russia to win to nil – 21/20 with BetVictor

Egypt v Uruguay, 13.00, 15th June 2018

On Friday afternoon, Hector Cuper’s Egypt and Oscar Tabarez’s Uruguay go head-to-head at the Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg for the second opening fixture in Group A. With or without Mo Salah, the Egyptians are the big underdogs in this one. The Sky Blue, who have impressed at the last two World Cups, will fancy their chances of getting out of Group A, starting by claiming all three points from Friday’s clash.

With the likes of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin – to name just a few – in their squad, the Uruguayans have all the experience and talent in the world to go far in Russia. Before a ball has been kicked at the World Cup, Uruguay are the clear favourites to win this group and progress to the knockout stages for a third consecutive World Cup. Egypt, who will be making their first appearance in the finals for 28 years, will be sweating on the fitness of their star man Salah, who picked up a shoulder injury in last month’s UEFA Champions League final in Kiev. However, the bookmakers don’t fancy their chances of picking up anything from this one.

Uruguay should have far too much quality for Egypt to handle in Yekaterinburg on Friday. The Sky Blues’ devastating attack is as good as anyone’s in Russia, and we fancy them to put on a show at the Central Stadium. This could be a stroll in the park for Tabarez’s men, so back them to win -2 at the top price of 5/1 with Betfair.

Betting Tip: Uruguay to Win -2 – 5/1 at Betfair