The Egyptian team is fixed to face Uruguay in a challenging match on Friday to start off its first World Cup match in 28 years, in the first leg of the group stages in Russia.
The “Pharaohs” are challenged by a team ranked 14th in the FIFA World Ranking and the favourites to lead Group A. The Egyptian side is expected to play with a defensive strategy and depend on counter-attacks to come out on top and have a chance to qualify to the next round.
The match begins 15:00 Russian local time (12:00 GMT) in Ekateringburg Arena, which holds a capacity of 33,000, in Ekaterinburg city, 1,417 kilometres from the capital Moscow. Officiating the match will be Kuipers Bjorn (45 age) from Holland.
Egypt’s coach Hector Cuper confirmed Liverpool forward Mohammad Salah will be fit for the opening match against Uruguay, but might not play for 90 minutes.
Cuper expressed confidence in the team’s starting players, but the goalkeeper’s is yet to named with two names challenging for it, Mohammed Al-shenawy (Al-Ahly) and veteran Essam Al-Hadary (Al-Taawoun).
Cuper’s formation will depend on four men in the defensive line-up: Ahmad Fathi (Al-Ahly), Ahmad Hegazy (West Bromwich), Ali Jabr (Al-Zamalek), and Mohammad Abdelshafy (Al-Ahly), and for the midfield Cuper will assign Tarek Hame (Al-Zamalek), Mohamad Alneny (Arsenal), Mahmoud Hassan “Trezeguet” (Kasimpasa), and Abdalla Said (Al-Ahly), while in the forward with Marwan Mohsen (Al-Ahly).
As for Uruguay’s national team, Coach Oscar Tabarez will be playing with an offensive strategy which he is known for, and the world-class strikers that will be on the starting line-up are Luis Suarez (Barcelona) and Edinson Cavani (PSG).
Tabarez is expected to put Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray) as the starting goalkeeper for the match and assign team captain Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Martin Caceres (Lazio), Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), and Guillermo Varela (Atletico Penarol) for the defensive line.
Fans will also be expecting the midfield positions to include Nahitan Nandez (Boca Juniors), Matias Vecino (Inter Milan), Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus), and Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro).
The first match of Group A that took place after the opening ceremony at the Luzhniky stadium in Moscow yesterday ended with the host team Russia beating Saudi Arabia 5-0.
Source: Kuwait News Agency