World Cup 2018 Group A Betting Preview
Group A of the 2018 World Cup is the weakest section in the tournament, with the two lowest-ranked teams featuring thanks to the fact that RUSSIA are the competition hosts and therefore were afforded Pot 1 status.
World Cup hosts should benefit from home advantage
The Russians are actually lowest ranking of all, with Saudi Arabia two places higher on the FIFA charts and these two teams get the World Cup under way on 14 June 2018.
This curtain raiser takes place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and the host nation will be expected to win the game, although it’s clearly hard to judge a team who haven’t really played a competitive match for the past two years.
They did manage to beat New Zealand during last summer’s Confederations Cup before defeats against Portugal and Mexico, indicating that this isn’t a vintage crop of players and it was a fairly modest team who were dumped out at the group stage of Euro 2016.
SAUDI ARABIA could be the rags of the group, although they did manage to edge out Australia in World Cup qualifying and won’t be under any pressure for the opening match of the tournament.
However, it could be that the Green Falcons are out of their depth at this level. They lost recent friendly matches against Portugal and Bulgaria without scoring and there was also a 3-0 reverse at the hands of Ghana which doesn’t inspire confidence.
Uruguay delighted with plum World Cup draw
The only team of certain quality is URUGUAY who are ranked 17th in the FIFA rankings and came through a typically difficult CONMEBOL qualifying section that claimed the lives of Chile among other teams.
La Celeste have a potent attacking threat in the form of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, while this is a battle-hardened team who continue to be managed by the wily Oscar Tabarez.
The Uruguayans must be delighted to receive this sort of draw which should see them record between seven to nine points and subsequently go through as group winners. Let’s not forget Uruguay finished second behind Brazil in that South American qualifying group.
Egypt's World Cup hopes rest too much on Salah
As for EGYPT, they are something of an unknown quantity and will be largely regarded as a one-man team thanks to the exploits of Mohamed Salah in a Roma and Liverpool shirt.
The Pharaohs comfortably won their African qualifying group and they are regarded as one of the best from their continent, something that was borne out when reaching the 2017 African Nations Cup final before losing to Cameroon.
An opener against Uruguay is not exactly favourable to the Egyptians, with a second game against Russia likely to decide their fate and it could be a tall order to beat the hosts in Saint Petersburg.
Group A Prediction
4. Saudi Arabia
Uruguay to win Group A @ 2.10 with Ladbrokes