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Four things to look out for Monday in World Cup

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 lie ahead.

           

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