Russia v Egypt Preview

Russia burst from the blocks in the tournament’s opening game, as they sliced through Saudi Arabia, but how will they now deal with the extra burden of expectation that performance has created.

The host nation came into the World Cup with fairly limited expectations on their shoulders, but a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia has ratcheted up the belief.

Were Russia that good against the Saudis, or was the opposition simply very, very meek? The proof may come on Tuesday but the suggestion for now leans towards the latter.

Egypt meanwhile, appeared to lack some belief against a misfiring Uruguay side in their opener.

With their talisman Mohamed Salah sat on the bench, they looked content to play for a draw and got hit with a sucker punch when Jose Gimenez headed home right at the end.

Liverpool forward Salah simply must start this game, if he doesn’t Egypt’s World Cup odyssey could be over before he kicks a ball.

Russia are favorites at 2.05 to make it two wins from two. Egypt meanwhile are 4.00 get a priceless victory but, more likely to me, is the draw at 3.05.

The hosts are set to be without Alan Dzagoev, who has a hamstring problem after the opening game.

Aleksandr Golovin, so impressive against Saudi Arabia, may be moved to cover his absence while the door is open for Denis Cheryshev to get a start, after he came off the bench to net a brace on Thursday.

This will be a first meeting between these nations and it is hard not to conclude that the game hinges on Salah’s participation. Moreover, he must be fit enough to continue the sort of form that has seen him star for Liverpool in the Premier League and Champions League last season.

If he earns the starting nod, Salah to score at 2.75 is a standout bet. Russia were asked next to nothing by the Saudis and Egypt should alter that stat, with or without their talisman.

We’ve already started to see that games are going to be tight in this tournament and many of the group stage collisions are evenly matched.

A dream start it certainly has been for the host nation, but Egypt have more to offer in terms of resistance and are capable of earning a 1-1 draw in Saint Petersburg, which is priced at 6.00.