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World Cup Group A analysis

World Cup Group A analysis: Who will survive, and who will fall?

May 14, 2018 By Michelle Bonsu
Egypt, Uruguay, hosts Russia, and Saudi Arabia are among those in Group A. LiveSoccerTV.com takes a look at these four and who's likely to make it through to the next round at this year's World Cup.

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup just around the corner, all 31 teams are gearing up for the big trip to Russia next month. Reigning champions Germany are hoping to emulate Brazil and Italy as the third team to successfully defend their crown, while hosts Russia, who are not favorites by any stretch of the imagination, are hoping to become the first home nation since Argentina in 1978 to win the coveted title.

Let's have a look at Group A, which contains Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay, and hosts Russia.

Who's who in this group?

Egypt

Star man: None other than Mohamed Salah. He's the first Egyptian to win the PFA of the year award in England and could force his way into Ballon d'Or contention with his exploits with Liverpool this season if he can lead the Reds to deserved Champions League glory against Real Madrid later this month - and if Egypt have a successful World Cup this summer as well.

Mohamed Salah played a vital role in Egypt sealing their first World Cup spot since 1990. What impact will he have for the Pharaohs this summer in Russia?

The coach: Argentinian boss Hector Cuper has been in charge of Egypt since 2015 and will hope to guide them through their first ever World Cup appearance since 1990.

Prior World Cup appearances: 2 (1934, 1990)

Best finish: Group Stage

Uruguay

Star man: Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez. It's hard to pick an out-and-out star man, so it will certainly have to be two, with the PSG ace and the Barcelona star tasked with leading the line for Uruguay this summer. Both have excelled for their respective sides domestically as PSG and Barcelona won the Ligue 1 and La Liga titles, although neither were able to help Les Parisiens and the Blaugrana go far in the Champions League this season.

Cavani and Suarez have been in great form for their clubs this season. Can they replicate this as Uruguay aim to go deep in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer?

The coach: Oscar Tabarez has been in charge of Uruguay since 2006, winning the Copa America in 2011.

Prior World Cup appearances: 12 (1930, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1986, 1990, 2002, 2010, 2014)

Best finish: Champions (1930, 1950)

Saudi Arabia

Star man: The Green Falcons haven't had much success at past World Cups, but they will be heavily relying on Mohammad Al-Sahlawi, who has netted 28 goals in 36 appearances for them and plies his trade for local side Al-Nasssr.

The coach: Juan Antonio Pizzi. Although born in Argentina, he represented Spain at international level and guided Chile to Copa America glory in 2016.

Prior World Cup appearances: 4 (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)

Best finish: Round of 16 (1994)

Russia

Star man: Arguably, their goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev will be the one to keep an eye on. The 32-year-old has played his entire career at CSKA Moscow and will hope to help Russia end their frustrating record at international tournaments.

The coach: Stanislav Cherchesov

Prior World Cup appearances: 3 (1994, 2002, 2014) - all as independent nation

Best finish: Group stage (1994, 2002, 2014)

Who've got their ticket punched to the round of 16?

Arguably, it's got to be Egypt and Uruguay, especially with players like Salah, Suarez, Godin, and Cavani in their ranks. Although hosts Russia will be desperate to have a say and use their home pitch advantage to help, nonetheless, expect La Celeste and the Pharaohs to progress.

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