FIFA World Cup Squads: Group A

Group A


Russia

Coach: Stanislav Cherchesov

Star player: Fyodor Smolov

World Cup best: First round 1994, 2002, 2014 (Soviet Union finished fourth in 1966)

How they got here: Russia qualified automatically as hosts and will be desperate to improve their poor recent record at major tournaments. They have not won a match since Euro 2012 and, since the break up of the Soviet Union, have not progressed from the World Cup group stage.

Squad news: 

  • Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Club Brugge), Soslan Dzhanaev (Rubin Kazan), Andrey Lunev (Zenit St Petersburg)
  • Defenders: Vladimir Granat, Ruslan Kambolov, Fedor Kudryashov (all Rubin Kazan), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Roman Neustadter (Fenerbahce), Konstantin Rausch (Dynamo Moscow), Andrey Semenov (Akhmat Grozny), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St Petersburg), Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow)
  • Midfielders: Yuri Gazinskiy (Krasnodar), Alexsandr Golovin, Alan Dzagoev (both CSKA Moscow), Aleksandr Erokhin, Yuri Zhirkov, Daler Kuzyaev (all Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Zobnin, Alexsandr Samedov (both Spartak Moscow), Anton Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Aleksandr Tashaev (Dynamo Moscow), Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal);
  • Forwards: Artem Dzyuba (Arsenal Tula), Aleksey Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Fedor Smolov (Krasnodar), Fedor Chalov (CSKA Moscow).

Saudi Arabia

Coach: Edgardo Bauza

Star player: Mohammad Al-Sahlawi

World Cup best: Second round 1994

How they got here: After qualifying for four consecutive tournaments between 1994 and 2006, Saudi Arabia missed out in 2010 and 2014 but are back after finishing ahead of Australia in their qualifying group.

Squad news: 

  • Goalkeepers: Assaf Al-Qarny (Al-Ittihad), Mohammed Al-Owais (Al-Ahli), Yasser Al-Musailem (Al-Ahli), Abdullah Al-Mayuf (Al-Hilal FC)
  • Defenders: Mansoor Al-Harbi (Al-Ahli), Yasser Al-Shahrani (Al-Hilal FC), Mohammed Al-Breik (Al-Hilal FC), Saeed Al-Mowalad (Al-Ahli), Motaz Hawsawi (Al-Ahli), Osama Hawsawi (Al-Hilal FC), Omar Hawsawi (Al-Nassr FC), Mohammed Jahfali (Al-Hilal FC), Ali Al-Bulaihi (Al-Hilal FC).
  • Midfielders: Abdullah Al-Khaibari (Al-Shabab), Abdulmalek Al-Khaibri (Al-Hilal FC), Abdullah Otayf (Al-Hilal FC), Taiseer Al-Jassim (Al-Ahli), Houssain Al-Mogahwi (Al-Ahli), Salman Al-Faraj (Al-Hilal FC), Nawaf Al-Abed (Al-Hilal FC), Mohamed Kanno (Al-Hilal FC), Hattan Bahebri (Khaleej FC), Mohammed Al-Kwikbi (Al-Ettifaq), Salem Al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal FC), Yehya Al-Shehri (Al-Nassr FC).
  • Forwards: Fahad Al-Muwallad (Al-Ittihad), Mohammad Al-Sahlawi (Al-Nassr FC), Muhannad Assiri (Al-Ahli).

Egypt

Coach: Hector Cuper

Star player: Mohamed Salah

World Cup best: First round 1934, 1990

How they got here: Egypt will make only their third appearance at a World Cup finals and their first since 1990 after booking their place in Russia with victory over Congo. Runners-up to Cameroon in this year’s African Nations Cup.

Squad news: 

  • Goalkeepers: Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun), Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly), Mohamed Awad (Ismaily);
  • Defenders: Ahmed Fathi (Al Ahly), Saad Samir (Al Ahly), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Mohamed Abdel-Shafy , (Al Fateh) Ahmed Hegazi and Ali Gabr (both West Bromwich Albion), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Karim Hafez (RC Lens), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles FC), Amro Tarek (Orlando City)
  • Midfielders: Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mahmoud Abdel Aziz (Zamalek), Shikabala (Al Raed), Abdallah Said (KuPS), Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Kahraba (Al Ittihad), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Trezeguet (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos)
  • Forwards: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Ahmed Gomaa (Al Masry), Kouka (SC Braga), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).

Uruguay

Coach: Oscar Tabarez

Star player: Luis Suarez

World Cup best: Winners 1930, 1950

How they got here: Uruguay’s last World Cup campaign was overshadowed by Suarez’s bite on Giorgio Chiellini and expulsion from the tournament but they qualified impressively for Russia and possess undoubted firepower.

Squad news: 

  • Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Martin Campana (Independiente)
  • Defenders: Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Sporting CP), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Maximiliano Pereira (Porto), Gaston Silva (Independiente), Martin Caceres (Lazio), Guillermo Varela (Penarol)
  • Midfielders: Nahitan Nandez (Boca Juniors), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Matias Vecino (Inter Milan), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus), Carlos Sanchez (Monterrey), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro), Diego Laxalt (Genoa), Cristian Rodriguez (Penarol), Jonathan Urretaviscaya (Monterrey), Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders), Gaston Ramirez (Sampdoria)
  • Forwards: Cristhian Stuani (Girona), Maximiliano Gomez (Celta Vigo), Edinson Cavani (PSG), Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
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