World Cup Preview – Friday

EGYPT vs URUGUAY

Group A – 1pm BST– Ekaterinburg

RECENT FORM

Egypt – With no wins in 6, Egypt come in to the World Cup in terrible form. With only 1 goal in their last 4, Egypt will be praying that Salah is back in full fitness.

Uruguay – The South American side have won all 3 of their World Cup warm up games not conceding in any. Confidence should be high going in to this one.

LIKELY LINE UPS

Egypt – (4-3-3) Bravo; Fathy, Gabr, Hegazy, Abdel-Shafi; El Said, Elneny, El Said Hamed; Salah, Hassan, Sobhi

Uruguay – (4-4-2) Muslera; Varela, Giminez, Godin, Caceres; Vecino, Nandez, Bentancur, De Arrascaeta; Cavani, Suarez

PREDICTION

This should be a comfortable victory for Uruguay as they come in to the tournament with good form and a strong line up. Salah’s fitness will be crucial to Egypt’s chances of even scoring a goal here. Egypt 0-2 Uruguay

TIPS

Uruguay to win to nil – 5/4

Cavani to score, Uruguay to win, 5+ corners each team and 20+ booking points each team – 22/1

Suarez first goalscorer and Uruguay to win 2-0 – 11/1

(SkyBet)

MOROCCO vs IRAN

Group B – 4pm BST – St Petersburg

RECENT FORM

Morocco – The Moroccans actually come in to the World Cup on an 18 game unbeaten streak. With Iran being their first game, Morocco will be confident of a good start.

Iran – In the 3 warm up games, Iran won 2 and lost 1. Scoring 1 goal in each, this was typical of an Iran side built on strong foundations.

LIKELY LINE UPS

Morocco – (4-2-3-1) Mohamedi; Dirar, Benatia, Saiss, Hakimi; Boussoufa, El Ahmadi; Amrabat, Belhanda, Ziyech; Bouatib

Iran – (4-2-3-1) Beiranvand, Ghadouri, Pouraliganji, Hosseini, Mohammadi, Hajsafi, Ezatollahi, Jahanbakhsh, Dejagah, Ghoddos, Azmoun

PREDICTION

This may be one to avoid. No stars on show and by what little we do know about Iran, it is that they like to defend. Morocco 0-0 Iran.

TIPS

0-0 – 9/2

Under 1.5 goals – 5/4

A penalty to be awarded – 9/2

(SkyBet)

PORTUGAL vs SPAIN

Group B – 7pm BST – Sochi

RECENT FORM

Portugal – A comfortable 3-0 win over Algeria and a credible 0-0 draw with Belgium in their 2 most recent games, the Euro 2016 champions will be confident going in to this.

Spain – The 2 warm up games have been less than convincing for Spain with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland and a 1-0 win over Tunisia. Having sacked their manager a day before the tournament begins, will Spain be in disarray?

LIKELY LINE UPS

Portugal – (4-4-2) Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fernandes, Guerreiro; Bernardo Silva, Carvalho, Joao Mario, Martins; Ronaldo, Andre Silva

Spain – (4-3-3) De Gea; Odriozola, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Thiago, Busquets, Iniesta; Silva, Costa, Isco

PREDICTION

A week ago, I would’ve said Spain would be too strong for Portugal. Now, with the turmoil surrounding the sacking of the manager, I’m not so sure. I’m sticking with Spain to nick it though. Portugal 1-2 Spain

TIPS

BTTS – 1/1

Pepe and Ramos to be carded – 7/1 (price boost)

Spain to win, BTTS, 5+ corners each team and Portugal 40+ booking points – 40/1

(SkyBet)

– Robert Shiers

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