FIFA World Cup 2018 Group A Prediction

Host nation Russia get the 2018 FIFA World Cup underway in Group A, with the opening fixture of the tournament taking place in Moscow, at the Luzhniki Stadium, on June 14.

They are joined in Group A by Asian qualifiers Saudi Arabia – back at the World Cup for the first time since 2006; Egypt – who are playing in only their third World Cup finals; and two-time champions Uruguay.

Read on for the fixtures, group odds and forecasts in Group A…

Teams

 

Russia

  • Qualified as host nation
  • Key Players: Vastly experienced goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev will lead Russia at their home tournament. The CSKA Moscow stopper has more than 100 caps for his country. The host nation will be looking to Lokomotiv Moscow’s Miranchuk twins Aleksei and Anton to continue their fine form after an impressive domestic season, while CSKA’s Alan Dzagoev offers experience and creativity in midfield.
  • Last five results:
    • L
    • D
    • L
    • L
    • L
  • Odds to win the tournament: 50/1 (William Hill)

Saudi Arabia

  • Qualified as runners-up in AFC Third Round Group B
  • Key Players: Mohammad Al-Sahlawi fired Saudi Arabia to the World Cup with 12 goals during qualification. The Al-Nassr striker also passed 100 career Saudi Professional League goals for his current club this season. While the majority of the squad is Saudi-based, La Liga trio Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad and Yahya Al-Shehri are pushing for midfield places.
  • Last five results:
    • L
    • W
    • W
    • L
    • L
  • Odds to win the tournament: 1000/1 (Betfair)

Egypt

  • Qualified as winners of the CAF Third Round Group E
  • Key Players: Mohamed Salah enjoyed a stunning debut season with Liverpool, and Egypt will be desperate for him to return from injury and continue his fine goalscoring form at Russia 2018. Ahmed Elmohamady has Premier League experience and was a key part of Aston Villa’s play-off push in the Championship this season, while 45-year-old Egypt captain and goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary is set to become the oldest player to play at a World Cup tournament.
  • Last five results:
    • D
    • L
    • L
    • D
    • D
  • Odds to win the tournament: 200/1 (Bet365)

Uruguay

  • Qualified as runners-up in the South American qualifying group behind Brazil
  • Key Players: Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez form Uruguay’s potent strike-force, with both heading to the World Cup after fine domestic seasons with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona respectively. Both scored to fire Uruguay to China Cup victory in March. Uruguay’s vastly-experienced squad is led by Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin
  • Last five results:
    • W
    • D
    • L
    • W
    • W
  • Odds to win the tournament: 28/1 (Bet365)

Group A Fixtures

Russia

VS15:00 GMTJune 14th

Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

Saudi Arabia

Egypt

VS12:00 GMTJune 15th

Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

Uruguay

Russia

VS18:00 GMTJune 19th

Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg

Egypt

Uruguay

VS15:00 GMTJune 20th

Rostov Arena, Rostov

Saudi Arabia

Uruguay

VS14:00 GMTJune 25th

Cosmos Arena, Samara

Russia

Saudi Arabia

VS14:00 GMTJune 25th

Volgograd Arena, Volgograd

Egypt

Group A Betting Tips & Prediction

Group Betting

Uruguay, who qualified in second place behind Brazil in the South American qualifying table, are favourites top Group A despite Russia’s home advantage.

They are 4/5 with Bet365 to finish first, while Russia are 9/5. Egypt are 11/2, while Saudi Arabia are 40/1 to finish top of the pile.

Egypt – semi-finalists at the Africa Cup of Nations – could be Africa’s surprise package at this year’s tournament, however – particularly if Mohamed Salah recovers from injury to play a starring role.

Nevertheless, Uruguay are favourites for good reason – they geared up for the World Cup by beating the Czech Republic and Wales to win the China Cup, Edinson Cavani scored in both of those games, while Luis Suarez netted in the first too. With those two in their team, attacking quality is clearly their strength.

Group Qualification Yes/No

Group qualification is where things could get a little more interesting – Uruguay are, unsurprisingly, big favourites to go through at 1/6 with Bet365. Russia are also odds-on thanks to their home advantage, but Egypt could be a tempting price at 6/4. Saudi Arabia are 7/1.

Russia have been in poor form in the build-up to the World Cup – they failed to win any of their five international friendlies between October and March, conceding three apiece in each of their last three.

They also failed to advance from the group stage despite home advantage at the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Egypt, on the other hand, will be keen to build on their run to the semi-finals at the Africa Cup of Nations. They will hope to have Mohamed Salah up front, who was in supreme goalscoring form in his debut season with Liverpool before his injury in the Champions League final, and will be keen to continue Africa’s tradition of teams upsetting the odds to progress beyond the group stages.

Alongside offering 13/8 on Egypt to qualify, Bet365 are also offering 9/4 on Russia missing out on a place in the second round.

Group Forecast

With Uruguay such big favourites to qualify, you can get more favourable odds if you pick a group forecast.

Uruguay finishing first and Russia second will land you 2/1, but Egypt pipping the hosts into second place improves those odds to 7/1.

Unsurprisingly, given they have failed to win a game at any of their last three World Cup appearances – and have not even qualified for the last two editions – Saudi Arabia are odds-on favourites to finish bottom of the group. They are 2/5 with Bet365 to finish fourth in Group A.

Group A Recommended Bet

With Russia in poor form, and their home advantage seemingly negated in their pre-World Cup friendlies, the hosts could struggle to get through the group stages. They are 9/4 to fail to qualify for the second round, while a 1st – Uruguay, 2nd – Egypt group forecast will land you 7/1.

Group A prediction

Uruguay (4/5 to win Group A with Bet365)

Egypt (13/8 to qualify for second round with Bet365)

Russia (9/4 to fail to advance beyond the group stage with Bet365)

Saudi Arabia (2/5 to finish bottom of Group A with Bet365)

Which Teams will qualify from Group A?

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