The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup was this Friday and one of the teams that came out winning were the hosts of the competition Russia. The Eurasian side will form part of Group A with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay in what is a very manageable group for the host nation.
Uruguay seems to be the biggest threat to Russia and looks to be a team that will surely advance to the knockout stage from this Group A. With players like Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin, Los Charruas should be able to get past this group. Uruguay finished second in the highly competitive CONMEBOL world cup qualifying with 31 points and should present a strong showing in this competition. The other teams are very manageable for the Russian national team in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who were good in their respective qualifying regions but could struggle in this group.
Egypt was phenomenal in CAF world cup qualifying finishing first in Group E of the competition with four wins, a draw and a loss in six games. The Pharaohs finished ahead of Uganda, Ghana and Congo and do count with one of the premier league’s best players this season Mohamed Salah. The Liverpool winger has 12 goals and two assists in 12 premier league games this season and was the joint top scorer in CAF world cup qualifying with five goals. Egypt does have other talented players on its squad like Arsenal’s Mohamed El Nenny but may have a tough time in Russia.
Saudi Arabia is arguably the weakest team in this Group A as all of the current squad play domestically in a league that is not very competitive. Most of Russia’s players also play domestically but the Russian League is much more competitive than the Saudi Arabian league. The Green Falcons finished first in Group A of AFC world cup qualifying, undefeated with six wins and two draws. The standout player was Mohammad Al-Sahlawi who scored 16 goals throughout the qualifying stage finishing as the joint top goalscorer in the region. Russia does have the home-field advantage that can drive the team to victory and it has already achieved a victory with how the draw went this Friday.