Saudi Arabia v Egypt: Essam El-Hadary to become the oldest player in World Cup history while Mo Salah also starts

by Jack Kitson / 25 June 2018, 13:45

Pride and not much else is at stake on Monday afternoon when the already-eliminated duo of Saudi Arabia and Egypt go head-to-head at the Volgograd Arena.

Both countries lost their matches against Russia and Uruguay, who subsequently progressed through to the knockout-stages, meaning this third and final match in Volgograd is all about the fight for third.

Egypt head into the first ever meeting between the countries as the 4/5 favourites to bow out with their first ever win at the Finals, while the Saudis are out at 4/1 to end a rotten run of 12 World Cup games without a victory, whereas a draw can be backed at 11/4.

It’s worth noting that if the honours do end all even then Egypt will finish 3rd in Group A due to their superior goal difference.

Egypt’s star man Mo Salah has scored The Pharaohs' only goal of the 2018 World Cup in a 3-1 defeat to Russia, and the Liverpool forward has been installed as the 3/1 frontrunner in the first goalscorer market, and is evens to net anytime during the game.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary will become the oldest player in World Cup history: 45 years and 161 days old.

Egypt’s defiant boss Hector Cuper is determined for his side to leave Russia on a positive note:

"This is an important match because we want to win and finish with a good result. We have prepared for it well and we want to represent the Egyptian people and make them happy with a victory.

"We will play against Saudi Arabia to regain wellness and achieve our new ambitions after the early exit at this World Cup, which was a big shock and blow. The team will be at its best.

"I don't have a message to those who criticise me. It does not anger me. All I would say is that sometimes ambitions are unrealistic."

Back in November Juan Antonio Pizzi became the 40th Saudi Arabia head coach in just 30 years, and should he limp out of the World Cup on the back of three consecutive Group A defeats, he could well be toast.

Saudi Arabia have fired blanks in the opening two games and they have been handed odds of 11/8 to make it three games in a row without a goal, while they can be backed at 8/15 to score against Egypt.

Under 2.5 goals looks like the way to go at 5/6, while you can back more goals in the second-half at 21/20.

Saudi Arabia 0-1 Egypt

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