Ekaterinburg Uruguay will aim to get their campaign off to a good start while Egypt will be eager for a positive result in their first FIFA World Cup appearance in 28 years when the two teams meet in a Group A clash at the Ekaterinburg Arena here on Friday.
The biggest point of concern for Egypt will be the form of injured star forward Mohammed Salah should coach Héctor Cúper decide to play him.
Salah had injured his shoulder while representing Liverpool in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, which had thrown his World Cup participation into jeopardy.
Going by the quality and World Cup pedigree of the two teams, Egypt are expected to face a tough, uphill battle when they step out for their first World Cup match since 1990.
On the other hand, two-time champions Uruguay will appear in their third consecutive World Cup. They were impressive at the 2010 World Cup, where they finished fourth. That was the first time they had reached the quarter-finals since the 1970 edition.
Uruguay played some good football at the 2014 World Cup although they were eliminated in the second round following a 0-2 loss to fellow South Americans Colombia, Before that, Uruguay had created a splash during the group stages with back to back wins over England and Italy.
Importantly, this will be the third consecutive World Cup appearance for Uruguay’s star players like Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin. That experience should hold the team in good stead.