MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) --
Monday sees the World Cup start the final round
of group matches with the last games between sides in Groups A
and B of the tournament. Here are some things to keep an eye out
for in the 12th day of competition.
Will Russia be able to break down Uruguay’s defense?
Russia and Uruguay
have already assured their places in the last 16 of the
competition and when they kick off their game in Samara they
will have no way of knowing who their possible rivals will be in
the next round.
That means both
sides should go for a win and hopefully the Russians will
continue the high-energy attacking football that has brought
them 8 goals in two games. Uruguay meanwhile have won both of
their games 1-0 with both goals coming from set pieces, however
their defense has yet to concede a goal and they will give us an
idea about how far the hosts can get in this competition.
Pride at stake in Volgograd
Although both Saudi
Arabia and Egypt are already out of the World Cup, don’t expect
Monday’s game in Volgograd to be a stroll in the park. Both
sides will look to leave Russia with something to keep their
fans happy. Egypt have been unlucky in Russia, arriving with
Mohamed Salah injured, conceding in the last minute against
Uruguay and falling behind to an own goal against Russia.
Salah scored against
the Russians and he’ll want to repeat that to leave his mark on
a World Cup where circumstances have been cruel.
Ronaldo to continue scoring streak
Portugal need to
avoid defeat against Iran to progress into the knockout phase.
Iran meanwhile need a win to make the last 16. The Iranians
packed defense has only conceded one goal to date in the
competition, but sooner or later they will need to attack if
they want to progress and that should leave space for Cristiano
Ronaldo to exploit on the break.
Can Spain find fluidity against Morocco
Spain will also make
the next round with a draw against a Moroccan side who are
unlucky to find themselves with two narrow defeats in their
opening matches. The two 1-0 scorelines tell Morocco’s story in
this World Cup: two close matches in which missed chances have
cost them dearly.
Spain struggled to
break down Iran in their last game with the press frustrated at
their efforts against a tight defense, they will hope for more
fluid play against Morocco as they look to the harder games that