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BY SAMSON MBII,NAIROBI,15TH JUNE 2018-Spain and Portugal clash on Friday in an early highlight of the World Cup in Russia as the Spanish camp insist they are united despite this week’s extraordinary sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui.
Egyptian fans, meanwhile, will hold their breath to see if prolific Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah really has recovered from the shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final as the Pharaohs take on Uruguay.
But after host nation Russia’s rousing 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the tournament opener, the highlight of the day will be Spain’s clash with Cristiano Ronaldo’s European champions in Sochi.
The Spanish team had been tipped as one of the favourites to win the trophy for a second time after a two-year unbeaten run under Lopetegui.
But Wednesday’s snap decision by the Spanish Football Federation to dump Lopetegui, after he announced he would take over at Real Madrid post-tournament, has left the team reeling.
Former Real Madrid stalwart Fernando Hierro has been thrown into the deep end as head coach, with little coaching experience and huge pressure on his shoulders.
Captain Sergio Ramos and Hierro put on a united front on Thursday as they contemplated the opening Group B meeting against their neighbours and arch-rivals following two days of chaotic upheaval.
Today June 15.2018
Egypt vs Uruguay 16:00
Morocco vs Iran 19:00
Portugal vs Spain 22:00
Tomorrow June 16.2018
France vs Australia