23rd June 2018

WORLD CUP ONBE DAY TO GO

ONBE DAY TO GO

13th June 2018

The World Cup starts on the 14th with hosts Russia facing Saudi Arabia - bizarrely the two lowest ranked teams according to FIFA.

Synics might point to what seems a very easy group for the hosts given that prior to this event their reciord in even qulaifying for recent tournaments has been pretty dire. Sice the Soviet Union disolved in 1990s they qualified for 1994 but went our in the group stages, as they did last time in Brazil and again in 2002 in Japan and Korea. They failed to make the finals on three other ocassions.

But, it will be a huge shock if the hosts fluff their lines and lose to the Saudis - who like England are the only team where all the side play in domestic football.

But Egypt and Uraguay will be tougher. Uraguay and Egypt have star men in Suarez and Mo Salah but the former dispapointed in Brazil having qualified from England's group at the expense of them and Italy. They then were well beaten by Columbia in the last 16 when hot favourites.

Egypt have stuttered recently and are ranked 45 in the world. Russia might get the breaks as hosts and have advantage of a hostile home crowd. All things being equal Uraguay are head and shoulder above this group and should qualify - but a better odds-on bet is the Saudis to finish bottom at 4/11 generally.

GROUP A

Saudi finish bottom 4/11

Eygypt Qualify 13/8 gen