Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah looks to get one over on World Cup hosts after flying start
Russia can become the first team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup to qualify for the round of 16 if they beat Egypt this coming Tuesday (19 June) in Saint Petersburg. However, the African side will be able to count on the return of Mohamed Salah, who has now fully recovered from a shoulder injury sustained in the final of the UEFA Champions League.
First things first
Before we get started, head on over to the Oddsshark website, select your favourite betting agency and set up your very own account using your credit card. As a brand new customer and with the World Cup group stage about to enter its second round, there should be plenty of action for you to enjoy.
Where should I be investing my money?
We have now seen all four favourites for the World Cup (Spain, France, Germany and Brazil) in action with three playing over the weekend. However, only the French managed to pick up a win and there have been plenty of dropped points and surprises along the way.
Surprises, of course, mean bigger pay outs for those willing to take the risk. Switzerland managed to hold the World Cup favourites to a 1-1 draw, meaning a 4.80 price would have given a US$48 dollar reward for a US$10 dollar investment. But perhaps the biggest shock of the tournament so far was seeing current world champions Germany lose 1-0 to an outstanding Mexican side who had been priced at 7.50 to pick up all three points, according to Oddsshark.
Back to Group A, and this clash between Russia and Egypt looks absolutely key to who will qualify and reach the round of 16. The World Cup hosts are simply flying following a 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia in the opening fixture of the tournament, but it goes without saying that Egypt will offer a far more stringent test.
Egypt lost their World Cup opener 1-0 to Uruguay thanks to a late goal, but their organisation and attack will look far more potent with Salah’s return. The Liverpool talisman, who bagged 44 goals for the Reds last term, is priced at 5.50 to score either first or last, and is at the short price of 2.75 to score at any time during the game.
Russia are desperate to avoid becoming only the second host nation in World Cup history to fall at the first hurdle, as South Africa did in 2010. However, their opening way win has put them top of Group A, and they are now at just 1.14 to make it to the round of 16. Alternatively you can back Russia to still fail to progress in the tournament at the now raised price of 5.50.
Uruguay remain the favourites to go through at 1.030, and are also at just 1.66 to top the group. Following defeat to the South Americans last time out, Egypt’s price to make it to the knock-out phase now stands at 4.00.
Consequently, this game now takes on vital importance for both sides. A win puts Russia through, whereas three points for Egypt would keep their World Cup dream alive a little longer.
Looking at the most straightforward type of bet you can make, on the outcome of the match, it is the hosts Russia who come into this one as the clear favourite to collect a second successive victory. The home side are priced at just 2.15 to pick up the win, whereas Egypt are at almost double that price, at 4.00.
However, given the amount of surprise results this World Cup has already thrown up so far, it would be foolish to discard Egypt out of hand. With Salah back Egypt will be rejuvenated, and while trying to predict the exact score of any given game can at times be a thankless task, backing Egypt to snatch a 1-0 win is paying out at 9.50 – that means close to a ten-fold return on your initial investment.
But Russia have their own potent attacking force in the form of Fedor Smolov. The striker is certainly one to watch and is the favourite to score in this game – priced at 4.50 to score either the first or last goal of the game, and is ahead of Salah at 2.37 to net at any time during the match.
This is likely to be a far closer game for Russia than their first encounter, but they still go in as favourites to what should be a low scoring game. You can back Russia to take the points in a game with less than 2.5 goals at a price of 3.60.
Odds: Russia (2.15), Egypt (4.00), draw (3.30)
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)
4.00pm – (2.25) Morocco 0 x 1 Iran (3.90)
7.00pm – (4.20) Portugal 3 x 3 Spain (2.05)
Saturday, 16 June
11.00am – (1.25) France 2 x 1 Australia (12.00)
2.00pm – (1.33) Argentina 1 x 1 Iceland (12.00)
5.00pm – (3.30) Peru 0 x 1 Denmark (2.40)
8.00pm – (1.72) Croatia 2 x 0 Nigeria (5.75)
Sunday, 17 June
1.00pm – (5.00) Costa Rica 0 x 1 Serbia (1.90)
4.00pm – (1.50) Germany 0 x 1 Mexico (7.50)
7.00pm – (1.40) Brazil 1 x 1 Switzerland (9.50)
Monday, 18 June
1.00pm – (2.05) Sweden x South Korea (4.33)
4.00pm – (1.18) Belgium x Panama (21.00)
7.00pm – (9.00) Tunisia x England (1.44)
Tuesday, 19 June
1.00pm – (1.72) Colombia x Japan (6.00)
4.00pm – (2.40) Poland x Senegal (3.30)