Jose Mourinho says that Russia’s next game against Egypt is the “crucial match” of Group A at the World Cup, and has warned the hosts that they must step up their defensive efforts to defeat stronger teams than Saudi Arabia.
“Egypt can hurt Russia,” the RT World Cup expert analyst said, in the wake of Russia’s comprehensive demolition of Saudi Arabia. “It may seem a contradiction, but I don’t think Russia can score many goals, and they scored five today. But I think they cannot score many goals against good teams, so I don’t think they can afford to concede many either.”
Unsurprisingly, Mourinho singled out Mohammed Salah as Egypt’s danger man, after the Liverpool forward was declared fit for the start of Russia 2018.
“I don’t want to say he is the fastest, but one of the fastest players in the world, with the ball, without the ball. He can dribble, he can run behind spaces,” said Mourinho. “Russia have to drop the defensive block back, and they have to react better when they lose the ball”
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Although the Manchester United manager predicted that Russia would struggle against Uruguay in the final match of the group, Mourinho insisted that just four points, coupled with superior goal difference, would be enough to qualify for the knock-outs.