While Uruguay and Egypt have never played each other in a competitive fixture, it is not hard to see that there is a gulf in class between the two nations, both historically and currently. Uruguay rank more than 30 places higher than the Egyptians in the official FIFA rankings, and boast a number of household names.
Uruguay’s road to the World Cup is normally treacherous considering they compete for places with the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, although on this occasion the Uruguayans wrapped up qualification with time to spare, finishing second behind Brazil in the standings.
While Uruguay are constantly playing against high-calibre opponents, the Egyptians rarely play matches outside of their home continent, which gives the South Americans a huge advantage. Although qualifying for the World Cup is never easy, the Egyptians only needed favourable results against Uganda, Ghana, Congo and Chad in their quest to reach their third World Cup.
Which leads us to another important factor – Uruguay have much more experience at the World Cup, having played in 12 of the tournaments to date including the last two editions. Pedigree matters in this tournament, and the fact that Egypt have not featured at the event since 1990 is against them in this matchup.
While Uruguay have not won an opener at the World Cup since 1970, we can’t see this trend continuing. With high-quality European and South American-based players across the pitch, it’s going to be hard to see the Egyptians compete. We expect the Uruguayans to dominate possession and score early, as they have a tendency of doing, while Egypt’s best chance will be to utilise the pace of Mo Salah on the counter.
We’re predicting a 1-0 win to the Uruguayans, with a goal in the first half.