After a convincing victory and a borderline drubbing of Saudi Arabia by Russia, the 2018 World Cup has kicked off with sufficient football action to keep us hopeful that the games will repeat themselves. However, the events today promise to be more balanced, but just as exciting. Even then, we may expect fewer goals but somewhat more positions.
Egypt vs Uruguay
Egypt and Uruguay are kicking off today at 14:00 PM CET. Both teams are no-one’s immediate favourites to make it all the way to the finals, but they certainly have their merits when it comes to football. Representing A group, the match is anticipated. There is definitely some highlight that we ought to jot down quickly here.
Egypt captain Essam El Hadary will be the oldest FIFA World Cup player to ever play at the event. AT 45, he will be leading his team up against the palpably younger Uruguayan squad who have a flair for the game. Egypt is also returning after 28 years of absence from the cup and they are slated to make a significant splash, or so they hope.
This will be the first time Egypt will encounter a South American team during a FIFA World Cup, which will definitely be a new experience for the team as well. Uruguay will, to some extent, have to go through the same ordeal.
Spain vs Portugal
It’s been four years since Spain appeared in Brazil and did somewhat poorly. Nevertheless, a world-class team as they are, the Spaniards will certainly be advancing their lot at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. They definitely don’t have an easy opponent, to begin with.
Portugal is a football team that burns with the same Southern desire to outpace their competitors. And they are rather proud about winning, too. Portugal’s coach Fernando Santos has also been rather testy about Spain, arguing that the team have not changed their playstyle in 10 years, expecting “no surprises.”
Portugal, of course, have Cristiano Ronaldo. A great footballer as this is, I clearly support the Spanish squad for reasons that are not based in objective football fact. Cristiano will pose a major threat to everyone from the Spanish team as he will be the spearhead of the Portuguese attack.
A valuable asset, he will be setting the pace for the whole game, and Spain will have to contain him early if they want to have a chance. Equally testy on the offensive and defensive, Portugal will be the greatest contenders for the World Cup, and no small part of this will be because of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Morocco & Iran
Going head to head, Morocco & Iran’s game will be quite the spectacular take. I like both teams and I hold them to have a brilliant football history. Morocco is returning to the games after a 20-year hiatus after they made their parting appearance on 23 June 1998, suffering a somewhat heavy defeat from Scotland 3-0.
Interestingly enough, Morocco and Iran never met during a FIFA World Cup event, bar the Futsal World Cup in 2012 and 2016. So, as a point of fact, this will be their first meet-up on grass. Meanwhile, Iran’s forward Sardar Azmun has been playing in Russia for six years, too!
Azmun also commented that he feels comfortable playing in Russia and described the country as his second home. Team Melli’s players are always reshuffled in the last minute, seeing players fulfil odd roles. It’s been amusing to see Iran reshuffle its players, and it also creates a healthy anticipation for the upcoming games themselves.
We will have 6 hours of football action, kicking off in less than 2 hours and that’s just a brilliant way to spend the Friday afternoon! Big World Sports will be streaming the games and showing you the results live, so make sure to tune in for the action and witness professional football plays at the highest level!