Starting XI: Egypt vs Uruguay
2018 FIFA World Cup Starting XI: Egypt vs Uruguay
African giants Egypt will go up against Luis Suarez and Uruguay in the second Group A clash of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Friday afternoon – here's how the teams will line up!
FIFA World Cup, Group A
Teams: Egypt vs Uruguay
Venue: Ekaterinburg Arena
The two nations have played each other just once before, in an international friendly that the South Americans won 2-0, but Friday's match is almost impossible to predict.
Egypt have been boosted by the return to fitness of Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah following the shoulder injury he picked up in the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid, and his performances for his national team have been nothing short of remarkable.
The pacey 26-year-old, who goes into the tournament on the back of his best season at club level, has struck 33 times in 57 matches for his country, and will be hoping to change their fortunes at the World Cup. The last time Egypt appeared at the competition was in 1990, while Uruguay are full of experience.
The two-time champions finished in fourth place at the World Cup in South African eight years ago, while in 2014 they were knocked out at the round of 16 stage.
Uruguay head into the clash with two strikers, Suarez and Edinson Cavani, who scored 71 goals between them for their respective clubs this past season. The pair also have incredible experience at international level, with a combined total of 193 caps.
While Uruguay go into the tie unbeaten in their past three matches –and without conceding too – Egypt have not won in their past six games. The African nation were beaten 3-0 by Belgium in a friendly before the tournament, a worrying sign for any Egyptian supporter.
A lot of pressure will be on Salah's shoulders heading into the showpiece, although there are some experienced heads in the Pharaohs' dressing room – goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, now 45 years old, is the oldest player at the tournament, and has 158 caps to his name.
Following Russia's impressive 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia on Thursday, both sides will feel a win is required to stand a chance of progressing from Group A.
Here's how the teams will line up:
Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathy, Gabr, Hegazy, Abdel-Shafi, Elneny, Hamed, Warda, Elsaid, Trezeguet, Mohsen
Uruguay: Muslera, Varela, Giménez, Godin, Cáceres, Bentancur, Vecino, Nandez, De Arrascaeta, Cavani, Suárez.
Do you think the Egyptians can trouble the experienced Uruguayans? Let us know in the comments section below.