World Cup hosts Russia host Europe at the Krestovsky Stadium this coming Tuesday night (19 June) looking to become the first team at the FIFA tournament to reach the knock-out phases when they take on former African champions Egypt. The sides had contrasting experiences, with Russia thrashing Saudi Arabia in the opening game while Egypt conceded a last minute goal to Uruguay to lose 1-0.
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Over the weekend, we saw Brazil, favourites to win the World Cup this year at a price of 5.00, make a slow start against an in-form Switzerland side. Despite taking the lead, the game ended in a 1-1 draw, on a price that would have paid out at 4.80. That means that a US$10 bet on a stalemate would have rendered a US$48 dividend for those who backed a tie.
On Tuesday, a draw would be of little value to Egypt who, having lost 1-0 to Uruguay last Friday, now need to win to give themselves a chance of reaching the second round. Since that defeat, Egypt’s price is now at 4.00 to qualify from Group A, whilst you can bet on them falling at the first hurdle at a price of just 1.22, according to Oddsshark.
By way of contrast, Russia are riding a wave of euphoria following that 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia. The World Cup hosts are now priced at just 1.16 to progress in the competition and they are likely to go all out for the win in this contest.
In forward Aleksandr Golovin, Russia have a goal threat who is being coveted by several Premier League clubs, including Chelsea and Manchester United. And he is priced competitively in this one, at a price of 4.50 to score at any time during the game, and at 10.00 to get either the first or last goal of the game – that means, should he open the scoring in this game, a US$10 dollar bet could bring in a US$100 return for you.
However, Egypt will be buoyed by the impending return of star man and centre forward Mo Salah. The Liverpool striker, who scored 44 goals for the Anfield club last season, is the big hope for his country’s chances in this game, and he is one of the favourites to score during the match, priced at 2.62. Only Fedor Smolov is priced shorter, at 2.30.
However, this is unlikely to be the goal fest that we saw in Russia’s first game. Saudi Arabia were weak and defensively, something Egypt most certainly are not, and this could well be a low scoring game. You can bet on there being under two goals at 2.62. two or three goals in the game at 1.95, and over three goals is priced longer at 4.50.
Egypt’s recent form, however, has been far from encouraging. Taking into account last week’s 1-0 loss to Uruguay, the side have now gone without a win in seven games, and it is a worrying slide that they must arrest if they are to remain in the World Cup.
Looking at the most straightforward bet you can make (the result of a game) Egypt are once again the underdogs. The African side are priced at 3.90 to take the points, whilst host Russia are at just 2.15. A draw is at 3.25.
There is no denying that Russia come into this game as the favourites, and while it is always difficult to try and predict the exact score of a game, a 2-0 win for the hosts is priced at 9.50, a price that would give you almost a ten-fold return on any investment. If you think Russia will be leading at both the interval and the full time whistle then you can back that inclination at 3.40.
Russia have shown they are a force to be reckoned with, and even if they are not expected to win the World Cup they can at least reach the knock-out phase. With Salah in the team, Egypt’s chances are increased dramatically, and you can back both teams to find the back of the net at a price of 2.05. If you think that won’t happen, the price drops to 1.70.
Odds: Russia (2.05), Egypt (3.90), draw (3.25)
2018 FIFA WORLD CUP FIRST ROUND GROUP GAMES
Thursday, 14 June
4.00pm – (1.45) Russia 5 x 0 Saudi Arabia (9.12)
Friday, 15 June
1.00pm – (7.50) Egypt 0 x 1 Uruguay (1.57)
Saturday, 16 June
Sunday, 17 June
7.00pm – (1.40) Brazil 1 x 1 Switzerland (9.50)
Monday, 18 June
Tuesday, 19 June