Russia vs Egypt preview, betting tips and prediction

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Mo Salah could enter the fray…

Score draw @ 7/2 with Paddy Power

Russia and Egypt meet in the first match of the second group round at the Krestovsky Stadium on Tuesday evening. Both sides had contrasting fortunes and emotions after the opening round of games; Russia made a dream start to their campaign at the Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday afternoon, beating Saudi Arabia 5-0. The defensive issues of the Saudis were obvious, by they took advantage of them superbly. Aleksandar Golovin performed well, enhancing his already growing reputation. Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United are all said to be watching his progress, and they will all have been impressed by his performance. Alan Dzagoev went off injured with a hamstring problem and will miss the rest of the tournament; Denis Cheryshev replaced him and scored a brace, but he will be missed against a more organised Egypt side. Mohamed Salah should return to the side for this game, and we think it will be a draw.

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The Pharos suffered heartbreak against Uruguay, losing in the last minute to a Jose Giménez header. The South Americans were far from convincing, but Egypt looked good defensively and were crying out for Salah, who was only fit enough for a place on the bench. Hector Cuper decided against bringing him on, perhaps with the idea of keeping him fresh for the two more winnable games on paper. But perhaps that had a negative impact towards the end of the game; Uruguay appeared to perform better once they knew Salah would not be facing them. He should start this game, though, and Russia can be certain it’ll be a tougher game that their opener.

Salah is the obvious goalscoring threat for Egypt, and he can be found at 9/5 to score anytime. Artem Dzyuba came on as a late substitute for Russia against Saudi Arabia and scored with his first touch before assisting another. He has done enough to start and, if he does, he is a good bet to score again at 9/5.

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