FIFA World Cup draw: Group A reaction

In Group A, hosts Russia will open the tournament against Saudi Arabia in what will be the lowest ranked match of the entire tournament.

Russia will have the weight of expectation on their shoulders as hosts but will have to realistic against Egypt, ranked 31st in the world, and Uruguay, ranked 21st.

Uruguay have a formidable strike force in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, the latter has scored 24 goals in all competitions for cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain already this season.

They start their tournament against Egypt in Yekaterinburg, who qualified courtesy of an 88th minute penalty from Mohamed Salah.

What they said

Manager Stanislav Cherchesov: “We’ve never played any of these teams and I’ve never seen them.

“The only thing we know is that (Liverpool forward Mohamed) Salah plays for Egypt … and that (Edinson) Cavani and Luis (Suarez) play for Uruguay.”

Group A

Saudi Arabia

Fixtures (all times UK)

June 14 – Russia v Saudi Arabia – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, 16:00

June 15 – Egypt v Uruguay – Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg, 12:00

June 19 – Russia v Egypt – Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, 19:00

June 20 – Uruguay v Saudi Arabia – Rostov Arena, Roston-on-Don, 16:00

June 25 – Uruguay v Russia – Cosmos Arena, Samara, 15:00

June 25 – Saudi Arabia v Egypt – Volgograd Arena, Volgograd, 15:00


  1. Uruguay
  2. Russia
  3. Egypt
  4. Saudi Arabia

Group A factfile

  • The average FIFA rank in Group A is 45.
  • The opening game will be the lowest-ranked match-up of the entire tournament.
  • Russia have never made it out of the group stage since the USSR era.
  • Uruguay won the first ever World Cup as hosts in 1930 and again in 1950, and recently finished 4th in 2010.
  • Saudi Arabia qualified for the first time since 2006, and have not won a World Cup since their debut tournament in 1994.


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