2018 World Cup – Group A preview: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay & Egypt

Group A at the 2018 World Cup will function a Russian team on the lookout to stay clear of the shame of an initially-spherical exit, although Egypt will be hopeful of advancing in their initial appearance at the event in almost 3 decades.

Hosts Russia will open the event and the team with a clash against Saudi Arabia in Moscow on 14 June. Although it is barely the most engaging of opening matches for these a significant event, it is a crucial clash for the Russians, who will need to have a sturdy start off to ease fears that they will stick in the footsteps of South Africa in 2010 and come to be just the 2nd host nation to fall at the initial hurdle.

South American heavyweights Uruguay appear to be the dominant pressure in the team, with Oscar Tabarez’s facet 2nd to only Brazil in the notoriously complicated CONMEBOL qualifying event. Boasting the likes of Diego Godin, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, two-time champions ‘La Celeste’ have a very good combination of youth and encounter and ought to have no issues ending in the major two.

The team most likely to join Uruguay in advancing could properly be Egypt. The North Africans are returning to the World Cup for the initially time since 1990, but they have a talented, multipurpose team and a manager in Hector Cuper whose pragmatism is properly suited to the do-or-die mother nature of event football.

But the query mark above the fitness of talisman Mohamed Salah is a significant worry, with the Liverpool man in a race against time to be suited for the finals immediately after suffering a severe shoulder personal injury in the UEFA Champions League remaining the final month.

Saudi Arabia is returning to the World Cup immediately after lacking the final editions in 2010 and 2014, and their reliable displaying in qualifying (they finished runners-up to Asian powerhouses Japan in their team) indicates they are not to be underestimated. The Eco-friendly Falcons are capable of disheartening a lot more talented groups, but they lack the real attacking potency necessary to contend at the maximum amount.

Group A fixtures (all times CAT)

14 June 2018, 17h00 – Russia v Saudi Arabia – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

15 June 2018, 14h00 – Egypt v Uruguay – Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

19 June 2018, 20h00 – Russia v Egypt – Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg

20 June 2018, 17h00 – Uruguay v Saudi Arabia – Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don

25 June 2018, 16h00 – Uruguay v Russia – Cosmos Arena, Samara

25 June 2018, 16h00 – Saudi Arabia v Egypt – Volgograd Arena, Volgograd

Group A head-to-heads (as per FIFA stats databases, in reference to ‘home’ team)

Russia v Saudi Arabia – P1 W0 D0 L1 GF2 GA4

Egypt v Uruguay – P1 W0 D L1 GF0 GA2

Russia v Egypt – No preceding matches

Uruguay v Saudi Arabia – P2 W0 D1 L1 GF3 GA4

Uruguay v Russia – P8 W1 D2 L5 GF5 GA14

Saudi Arabia v Egypt – P6 W1 D1 L4 GF7 GA19


Sakala leaves Zanaco to Saudi Arabia – 2017 FAZ Super League


Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Aug 08, 2017. 12:30

Zanaco midfielder Saith Sakala has joined Saudi Arabian Premiership side, Al-Fateh on a five year deal.

Zambian reports suggest that the midfielder, who previously had a stint in Israel, will battle it out in the Saudi Arabian league with former Zesco United striker Idriss Mbombo.

Mbombo is on the roster of another Saudi Arabia top side, Al-Shaba and according to Zanaco boss, Edward Mutale, Sakala will sign the contract once he passes his medicals.


“Saith Sakala is waiting for his ticket from the club in Saudi Arabia. He is supposed to undergo his medicals either in Saudi Arabia or Turkey, where the club is camped for pre-season training,” Mutale said to the Daily Mail.

“Once he passes his medicals, he will sign a five-year contract.

“We are almost done with everything, we are just waiting for them to send some documents.

“We are happy that the young man, Sakala is leaving the country with our blessings.

“We are confident he will excel in Saudi Arabia because he is an intelligent and disciplined player.

“At Zanaco, we give players opportunities to excel in their careers.”

It is reported that Sakala attracted interest from a number of overseas clubs following his impressive performance in the 2017 CAF Champions League.

Sakala scored two goals in the continental competition where Zanaco were eliminated in the group stage.


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Egyptian El-Hadary happy to sign for Saudi side – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jul 14, 2017. 13:00

Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary says he is excited with his move to the Saudia Arabian side Al-Tawoun.

The Pharaohs veteran has completed his move to the Saudi league on a one-year deal.

Following his move on June 28, the keeper became the first foreign goalkeeper in the Saudi Pro League as the Saudi Football Federation had recently lifted a ban on signing foreign keepers.


It is reported that the four-time Africa Cup of Nations champion assured that he will do his best to achieve a number of goals with his new club.

The 44-year-old net minder has also praised the club’s board for signing Zamalek’s winger Mostafa Fathi on a one-year loan deal.

“I have a new challenge now with Al-Taawoun and I will aim to do my best to win this challenge,” El-Hadary said.

“I want to perform well with the club first for myself and then for those who trust me and my potentials.

“Mostafa Fathi is young, promising and talented. I am happy that he joined the club.

“I am really happy I moved to Al-Taawoun and I would like to retire here.”


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