World Cup Group A Preview

One of the tougher groups. 

The World Cup is almost upon us and that means it is time to review the teams that will be taking part in the World’s most followed sporting event. 

Russia

History 

Russia have participated in ten World Cups till now and their best finish has been 4th place in the 1966 World Cup that was held in England. 

Team Preview
  • Manager – Stanislav Cherchesov 
  • Most Caps – Ignashevich 122 (Defender)
  • Captain – Akinfeev (Goalkeeper) 
  • Star Player – Dzagoev (Midfielder)

The World Cup is being hosted in Russia so they are expected to at least make it past the group stage. They have played two friendlies in the build up to their opening game, the first they lost to Austria by a goal to nil, while the second they drew with Turkey at home. While the group is tough getting past the group stage will be more than sufficient. 

Saudi Arabia 

History

Saudi Arabia have participated in four World Cups, their last being in 2006. Their highest finish in a World Cup has been to reach the round of 16 in the 1994 World Cup which was hosted in the USA. 

Team Preview
  • Manager – Juan Antonio Pizzi
  • Most Caps – Osama Hawsawi 134 (Defender)
  • Captain – Osama Hawasawi
  • Star Player – Al-Sahlawi

Saudi Arabia have lost both of their last friendlies against Italy and Peru respectively and are the possibility of reaching the round of 16 is slim at best. Winning one of the three group games should be a respectable performance for Saudi Arabia, anything more would be a great achievement. 

Egypt

History

Egypt have participated in two World Cups, their last being in 1990. Reaching the group stage of the World Cups has been their best achievement so far. 

Team Preview 
  • Manager – Héctor Cupér
  • Most Caps – Essam El-Hadary 157 (Goalkeeper) 
  • Captain – Essam El-Hadary 
  • Star Player – Mohamed Salah (Forward) 

Egypt are perhaps the dark horses of this group and mostly because of one very special player, Mohamed Salah. Salah had been gradually picking up form since leaving Chelsea, and his move from Roma to Liverpool in 2017 was seen as a decent buy. Fast forward to 2018 and Salah has finished the season with more than 40 goals and has become a household name. His last game in the Champions League final saw him suffer an injury to his shoulder but Egypt is optimistic that he will play a part and might even make it for the opener. The Egyptian team has other Premier League players such as El-Neny, Hegazi and Sobhi as well as stalwarts like Elmohamady. They have drawn two and lost one of their three pre-World Cup friendlies but I think they might make it to the knockout stages of this World Cup especially if Salah plays a part. 

Uruguay

History

Uruguay have made 12 appearances in the World Cup their first being in 1930, a World Cup which they managed to win along with the one in 1950. 

Team Preview
  • Manager – Oscar Washington Tabarez
  • Most Caps – Maxi Pereira 124 (Defender)
  • Captain – Diego Godín (Defender)
  • Star Player – Luis Suárez (Forward)

Two time champions Uruguay are favourites to top Group A, and with players like Suárez, Cavani, Godin, Giménez to name a few they should top the group. Suarez is their talisman and has also been a controversial figure in last world cups, but he has gained maturity in the last four years and should lead by example. Uruguay in all likelihood will make it to the round of 16 and a quarter final spot should be in their sight depending on who they face. 

 

 

 

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