The FIFA World Cup has officially kicked-off with an impressive game from the hosts Russia as they thwarted Saudi Arabia 5-0.
In the second day of the event, two matches are featured and one is another Group A battle with Uruguay facing off against Egypt.
After Russia’s dominance, it is up to these two teams on how they can secure three points to keep their hopes alive of staying in the top two of the table.
On paper, Uruguay are the much stronger team but Egypt also have one of the breakout stars of the 2018 season that can carry them when needed.
Below are key players in this clash that will help decide the result of the game.
ESSAM EL HADARY – EGYPT
Heading into the World Cup at 45 years old, Essan El Hadary is the oldest player in the event and will play a crucial role for Egypt if they want to claim a big win over Uruguay.
Having played throughout the qualification stages, El Hadary’s experience should play a part of how he can stop the potent offence that Uruguay possess.
Despite his age, El Hadary is making his first appearance in the World Cup and his team is hoping that he exceeds expectations under the bright lights in order to get something positive out of their first appearance in the competition in 28 years.
It is clear that the team has a lot of faith in him as he wears the captain’s armband as they feature in Russia.
EDINSON CAVANI – URUGUAY
One half of Uruguay’s strike force, Edinson Cavani has been performing at a high level in France’s Ligue 1. In the 2017-18 season, he scored 40 goals across all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain and is likely to bring his impressive form for his national team.
Regarded as one of the best strikers by his peers, Cavani also led the CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup qualifiers in goals scored with 10 across 15 matches. He beats the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar for the distinction.
His size and speed make him a threat from anywhere around the box and at 31 years old may be at the peak of his powers.
With Egypt lacking the superstar quality at the back, Cavani may be finding it easy to beat them to try and rack up the goals.
MOHAMED SALAH – EGYPT
On the other side, Egypt boast another striker considered as one of the best in the world with Mohamed Salah.
The Liverpool striker broke the English Premier League record in goals scored with 32 goals in a season and also helped the team reach the UEFA Champions League final.
Salah has also been pivotal in securing World Cup football for his nation, with his penalty kick as the current highlight for the national team at the moment. He is hoping that he has more in his bag to produce big upsets in the competition and lead Egypt to the knockout stages.
At 25 years old, many are left in awe at how impressive Salah has played anytime he is on the pitch. With the fate of an entire nation on his shoulders, he should have a few more big performances.
LUIS SUAREZ – URUGUAY
For Uruguay, another player who featured in Liverpool will be the focal point of their attack as Luis Suarez is pegged to have a big World Cup campaign.
Suarez has often been criticised for his controversies in World Cup competitions – with his famous bite on Giorgio Chiellini four years ago in Brazil to his hand ball against Ghana back in 2010.
However, it is difficult to look past how capable he is as a striker especially with how he has helped Barcelona in the past seasons. He has the pace to beat defences and the incredible dexterity to finish with both feet that leave opponents baffled.
If Suarez can keep his wits together and play professionally throughout the competition, he may be set to be one of the best players in the World Cup.