2018 FIFA World Cup: Egypt vs Urugua, Morocco v Iran, and Portugal v Spain, Match Preview and Predictions
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA.
Egypt vs Uruguay
The winner of this game may also eventually decide which team does grab the top spot in Group A to get favorablele draw in the Round of 16. Let’s take a closer look at the two teams ahead of their first World Cup draw.
Egypt and Uruguay have met just once before. Uruguay won a friendly match by a 2-0 score in August 2006. Egypt has three losses and a pair of draws in five games since the beginning of 2018. Uruguay has won both of their games in 2018.
Even with a fully fit Mo Salah, this would be a tough game for Egypt to get anything out of. Uruguay are strong enough at the back to keep them at bay and their strike partnership of Suarez and Cavani are likely to make a breakthrough.
Egypt’s hopes and dreams in Russia very much depend on the fitness of Mo Salah after his Champions League final heartbreak.
But Salah is expected to at least feature in their last two games after inspiring his country to their first World Cup since 1990.
Uruguay are genuine dark horses given their kind group and firepower up front.
Marshalled by the inspirational Diego Godin at the back and powered by the goals of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in attack, they could go deep in the tournament.
Egypt vs Uruguay, Prediction
Both Team to score : Yes Cvani to score anytime @2.10 Egypt or Draw @ 2.62 Goal Over 2.5 @2.2
Morocco v Iran
Group B will kickoff with the two outsiders facing each other on the Krestovsky Island in Saint Petersburg. Both Morocco and Iran are only given outsider chances in what is a difficult group that also includes 2010 world champions Spain and current European champion Portugal.
At the same time, Morocco have a squad that could perhaps upset the apple cart. A deep side with top players on every position Les Lions de l’Atlas might even have enough strength to finish ahead of one of the two European giants.
The match against Iran, however, will be crucial for Morocco’s hopes to advance to the round of 16. With Iran Morocco face a side that have stood out for their defensive abilities – Team Melli conceded just two goals at the final stage of AFC World Cup qualifying.
Morocco, however, should have the firepower to break down Team Melli. The likes of Amine Harit (Schalke), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) and Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray) are fantastic in one-on-one situation, and each one of them can break down deep-sitting defensive lines.
With this in mind, Morocco are clear-cut favourites to take all three points from the first match in Group B, which could set up Les Lions de l’Atlas nicely for the remainder of the group stage.
Morocco v Iran, Prediction
Draw or Morocco…
Portugal v Spain
Friday’s Group B clash marks the first meeting between these Iberian rivals since the semifinals of Euro 2012. After the two sides played to a scoreless draw through 120 minutes, Spain eked out a narrow 4-2 win on penalties to continue its march to a second straight European title.
Portugal tallied a 4-0 win over Spain in a 2010 friendly, but the Spaniards prevailed in their only previous meeting at the World Cup, a 1-0 win in the round of 16 in 2010. This time around, it is Portugal entering the tournament as European champion and Spain seeking redemption after failing to advance from the group stage four years ago. However, Portugal must overcome a 0-0-4 record in their past four World Cup dates with European opponents.
With these two sides sitting atop the Group B odds, this matchup brings on added importance, with the winner likely to emerge as the favorite to finish atop the Group B table and earn a favorable round of 16 matchup with the second-place finisher in Group A.
Portugal vs Spain – Match Stats
Portugal and Spain have met each other on 35 occasions and the Seleção das Quinas’record against La Furia Roja is W6 D12 L17.
Spain eliminated Portugal 1-0 in the round of 16 at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Spaniards would move on to win that tournament.
The last competitive match between the two countries was the semi-final of the 2012 Euros in which Spain would eliminated Portugal 4-2 after penalties and once again move on to win the title.
Portugal v Spain, Prediction
Spain to win..
Uruguay are heavy favourites to beat Egypt, starting at $1.60 compared to their opponents’ $6.50 and $3.55 for the draw.
Morocco ($2.20) and Iran ($3.80) is a little closer, with the draw at $2.90.
Spain are paying $2.05 to beat Portugal despite the recent sacking of Julen Lopetegui.
That has Portugal at the enticing price of $3.90, and the draw is paying $3.15.