Godfrey Walusimbi of Uganda tries to challenge Mohamed Salah of Egypt
Friday Jun 15, 2018. 11:45
Egypt will take on Uruguay in their first 2018 FIFA World Cup Group A match at the Yekaterinburg Stadium in Russia on Friday.
Kick-off is at 14h00 CAT.
The Pharaohs are eyeing a winning start to the tournament as they will be playing their first game in the World Cup finals since 1990.
Liverpool FC forward Mohamed Salah, who recently recovered from his shoulder injury, is most likely to feature for Egypt against Uruguay.
The 26-year-old attacker and experienced goalkeeper Essam El Hadary were the key players during the African side’s successful qualifying campaign.
Egypt head coach Hector Cuper is looking to mastermind a victory over Uruguay which would boost his players’ confidence heading into their last two Group A games.
“For three years and a few months we've decided on a certain path,” Cuper told the media.
“We've achieved a lot by following that path, so with very little time before the World Cup it would be risky to change things substantially in our style.
“I don't like to practise at the World Cup with things we haven't done before. Sometimes, you have to perfect and fine-tune the things that you do well.”
Meanwhile, Uruguay are making their third successive appearance in the finals and they will be keen to begin their group stage campaign with a win.
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) striker Edinson Cavani and FC Barcelona forward Luis Suarez are the Sky Blue’s star players and they will look to inspire their nation to victory.
The South American giants relied on the world class strikers for goals during their qualifying campaign and they helped the country reach the finals.
Uruguay head coach Oscar Tabárez has a plan to stop Egypt’s star player Salah and guide his side to victory.
“I think that we are in good form… All matches in the world are full of surprises, especially at the World Cup. We have great respect for Egypt. Of course they can defeat us, but we have a good chance to win,” said Tabarez.
“We have played against the likes of Messi, Neymar and others. If Salah plays we will just have to control his many strengths. I would be happy if Salah could play.
“In a dream match, for him to suffer that injury is sad. I don’t know about his recovery as it was in the United Kingdom. It’s a private matter. We haven’t planned a strategy whether he is on the pitch or not.”
Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers will be in charge of Friday’s game between Egypt and Uruguay.
In head-to-head stats, Egypt and Uruguay have clashed once with the Sky Blue winning 2-0 in a friendly match which was played in Alexandria in August 2006.