Egypt out to avoid wooden spoon

Egypt out to avoid wooden spoon
Mohamed Salah of Egypt scores from the penalty spot during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Russia and Egypt in St.Petersburg, Russia, 19 June 2018. EPA/Tolga Bozoglu

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jun 23, 2018. 12:00

Egypt will look to avoid the ‘wooden spoon’ in Group A of the 2018 World Cup when they face Saudi Arabia at the Volgograd Arena on Monday, June 25, kick-off at 16h00 CAT.

Egypt’s hopes of advancing from the group came to an end in midweek when they were beaten 3-1 by hosts Russia. Following from a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Uruguay, the North Africans find themselves with zero points from their two matches thus far.

At least they managed a goal against Russia, with the returning Mohamed Salah scoring from the penalty spot. The talismanic attacker played the full match against the host nation, but having just returned from injury he lacked the sharpness and incision which was on full display for Liverpool through the past season.

As for Saudi Arabia, their 5-0 humiliation against Russia on the opening day was followed by another defeat, as they were beaten by Uruguay on Wednesday. However, it was a face-saving performance from Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side, who lost only 1-0 to the South American heavyweights.

With neither the ‘Green Falcons’ nor the ‘Pharaohs’ in with a mathematical chance of advancing into the last 16, only pride is at stake in this clash. Both teams will hopefully take a positive, attacking approach to the game and at least look to exit Russia 2018 on a high.

In head-to-head terms, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have met in six previous matches according to FIFA’s statistics database. The ‘Pharaohs’ have claimed four wins compared to just one for the Asian side. The teams’ most recent meeting was a friendly in Cairo in November 2007 which was won 2-1 by Egypt.

Saudi Arabia v Egypt – head-to-head

Matches played 6

Saudi Arabia wins 1

Egypt wins 4

Draws 1

Saudi Arabia goals 7

Egypt goals 19





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