Egypt vs. Uruguay: Will Mo Salah Be Enough to Lift the Pharaohs in World Cup Opener?
Egypt vs. Uruguay, 8 a.m. ET, FS1
- Egypt: +650
- Uruguay: -168
- Draw: +287
Bet to Watch
Uruguay -1 +103
The entire nation of Egypt exhaled on Thursday when news surfaced that star forward Mo Salah would be fit for the opener against Uruguay.
Salah’s presence can’t be overstated. He’s a game-breaking talent who can win a game (or games, really) on his own. That’s important to remember, because he will basically need to do that if Egypt want to progress.
Salah has Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino with him up top at Liverpool, which makes life a lot easier on him. He won’t have that type of support on the national team, but Trezeguet (whose real name is Mahmoud Hassan but earned his nickname for his slight resemblance to French footballer David Trezeguet) could be a sneaky weapon for manager Hector Cuper and the Egyptian side.
It’s a tough matchup for Salah, especially since Uruguay boasts one of the most formidable defensive partnerships in the World Cup.
While the attacking duo of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez rightfully get a lot of press for Uruguay, it is actually the nation’s centerbacks — Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez — who will be the key for La Celeste against Egypt.
The two pillars of Uruguay’s defense play for Atletico Madrid, one of the best defensive teams in the world, so they are no strangers to players of Mo Salah’s caliber.
I fully expect Egypt to play a cagey game. They’ll fancy their chances against Saudi Arabia and Russia, so getting a point against the group favorites would be gigantic for the Pharoahs.
Uruguay, meanwhile, will see a lot of the ball, and with finishers like Suarez and Cavani lurking, they will be a lot to handle. Egypt is tough to break down and won’t give up many clear-cut chances, but Cavani and Suarez don’t need many opportunities to leave their mark. I’d be shocked if they didn’t cause major problems for the Egyptian rearguard.
If you played this match 100 times, I think Uruguay would win by two goals or more in at least 50% of them, so I think there’s some value on taking Uruguay at -1 +103.