The World Cup is now underway after Russia ….. Saudi Arabia but day 2 sees the action get fully underway. 

 

Egypt v Uruguay (1:00pm)

This match could pit one current Liverpool star against one of their previous top strikers as Mohamed Salah’s Egypt meet Luis Suarez and Uruguay for the first time in a competitive match.

Uruguay won their only previous meeting 2-0 when met for a friendly in 2006 but both teams will be remarkably different to the sides who ran out that day. 

Los Charruas have met African opposition in the World Cup before, taking one win and two draws, so will be confident of getting the win with Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez leading the line. 

Although Egypt have Salah up front with Mohamed Elneny and Ramadan Sobhi bossing the midfield, I don’t think that they’re strong enough to keep out a tough Uruguay attack. 

For that reason, I reckon this will be a South American victory despite the fact that they haven’t won any of their last six opening World Cup matches. (D3, L3)

Prediction: Egypt 1-2 Uruguay

 

Morocco v Iran (4pm)

On paper, this doesn’t look or feel like a glamourous tie but it could very well be a tactical game between two strong sides. 

Although both teams are defensively solid, Morocco do have more players who can peel open deep defences even if one-on-one against an Iranian so am just about leaning towards them. 

In all honesty, I am not expecting anything here and if get a winner, it will be by a single goal.

Prediction: Morocco 1-0 Iran

 

Portugal v Spain (7pm)

Lopetegui

How will Spain cope following Julen Lopetegui’s shock departure?

2016 UEFA Euros champion, Portugal meet Spain in our first major European clash of the World Cup as two giants in Cristiano Ronaldo and Andreas Iniesta collide. 

Spain however comes into this on back foot following the shock dismissal of Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday, after he signed a deal to become Real Madrid’s new manager.

Fernando Hierro therefore comes in at short notice but will be relived by Spain’s record in this fixture, despite its daunting look.

In five World Cup meetings, Spain are unbeaten against their neighbours, winning four and drawing one.

Recent meetings have however been tight with Spain taking three wins to Portugal’s two across the last five, including 2010 World Cup victory in last 16. 

This time around, Spain face the unknown under Hierro so Ronaldo and Portugal will smell blood here if La Furia Roja aren’t at their most furious. 

Throw in their poor opening game record of two wins in last 12 and I reckon that Portugal will just nick this. 

Prediction: Portugal 1-0 Spain

 

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