In Review

World Cup group A permutations: Uruguay vs. Russia and Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt

It’s winner takes all between host nation Russia and Uruguay

With one round of games left to play in the group stage six teams have already qualified for the World Cup last 16 while eight have been eliminated.

In group A host nation Russia and Uruguay are through to the knockout stages and will play each other today at the Samara Arena (3pm, live on ITV). The victors will qualify as group A winners and play the runner-up in group B in the first knockout round.

The other group A match is a dead rubber between already eliminated Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Here we look at the group A permutations and the team news for today’s matches.

Group A permutations
  • Russia and Uruguay have qualified 
  • Russia will finish top if they beat Uruguay and vice-versa 
  • A draw will see Russia finish top 
  • Egypt and Saudi Arabia are eliminated

Uruguay vs. Russia

  • When: Monday 25 June 
  • Kick-off time: 3pm 
  • Where: Samara Arena, Samara 
  • TV channel: live on ITV

Uruguay will have to beat the host nation Russia to finish top of group A and will again rely on the attacking threat of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

Defender Jose Maria Gimenez, who scored the winner against Saudi Arabia, will miss the match because of a thigh injury, ESPN reports. 

Table-toppers Russia will also be without striker Alan Dzagoev because of a hamstring injury he picked up in the opening match of the World Cup.

Uruguay vs. Russia predicted starting XIs

How the teams could line up at the Samara Arena, according to Fifa.com:

  • Uruguay (4-4-2): Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin, Diego Laxalt; Carlos Sanchez, Lucas Torreira, Rodrigo Bentancur, Giorgian De Arrascaeta; Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani 
  • Russia (4-2-3-1): Igor Akinfeev; Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergey Ignashevich, Yuri Zhirkov; Roman Zobnin, Yuri Gazinksy; Aleksandr Samedov, Aleksandr Golovin, Denis Cheryshev; Artem Dzyuba

Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt

  • When: Monday 25 June 
  • Kick-off time: 3pm 
  • Where: Volgograd Arena, Volgograd 
  • TV channel: live on ITV4

With nothing to play for each side could make changes for the clash in Volgograd.

The BBC reports that Essam El-Hadary, Egypt’s 45-year-old goalkeeper, could be in contention to start against Saudi Arabia. If he is selected El-Hadary will become the oldest player in World Cup history. 

Egypt star Mohamed Salah is also expected to start despite rumours he was on the verge of quitting international football

Injured trio Taiseer Al-Jassam, Omar Hawsawi and Mansour Al-Harbi are all ruled out for Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt predicted starting XIs

How the teams could line up at the Volgograd Arena, according to Fifa.com:

  • Saudi Arabia (4-5-1): Yasser Al-Mosailem; Ali Al-Bulaihi, Osama Howsawi, Mohammed Al-Breik, Yasser Al-Shahrani; Salman Al-Faraj, Abdullah Otayf, Housain Al-Mogahwi, Salem Al-Dawsari, Hattan Bahebri; Muhannad Asiri 
  • Egypt (4-4-2): Essam El-Hadary; Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazi, Ahmed Fathy, Mohamed Abdel Shafy; Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Abdallah Said; Mohamed Salah, Marwan Mohsen

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