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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 15 October 2018

Saudi Arabia target three points against Egypt, have plans to 'contain' Mohamed Salah

Both teams chasing a first victory at 2018 World Cup in Group A dead-rubber

Saudi Arabia manager Juan Antonio Pizzi takes a final training session before the World Cup Group A match against Egypt. Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters
Saudi Arabia manager Juan Antonio Pizzi takes a final training session before the World Cup Group A match against Egypt. Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s final match of the World Cup against Egypt presents the players an opportunity of redemption, according to winger Fahad Al Muwallad.

The Gulf side, appearing at the global finals for the first time in 12 years, are already eliminated having lost their opening two Group A games to Russia and Uruguay. They were defeated 5-0 in the curtain-raiser by hosts Russia before improving considerably in last week's 1-0 reverse to Uruguay.

Saudi conclude their campaign on Tuesday in Volgograd against Egypt, another side with no points from two matches. Egypt are seeking a first World Cup win, while their rivals have won twice before - both in 1994.

Al Muwallad said his team were given everything needed to perform at the World Cup, and promised a performance at the Volgograd Arena worthy of that backing.

“Regarding the administrative aspect, everyone has done their best,” said the Al Ittihad forward, who is expected to reprise his role at the tip of the Saudi attack. “The team managers gave us great deal of support and Saudi Arabia supporters as well, but perhaps we wasted a few opportunities.

"But we have a chance to make up for what happened. We have a bright future ahead of us as players. Tomorrow we want to win the three points and make the Saudi fans happy. We hope that we are able to do so.

“Our match against Egypt will be very difficult. Every team dreams of winning a World Cup game. We want those three points, regardless of the opponent. We fully respect the Egypt side and I think they recognise that the Saudi team is a team to be reckoned with. We will enjoy our match tomorrow.”

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Read more:

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World Cup 2018: Who's in and who's out

World Cup 2018: Messi overreaction, Salah's early exit and 10 worst moments so far

Pizzi vows players 'will make Saudi Arabia proud' in World Cup dead-rubber against Egypt

Defiant Hector Cuper says Egypt determined to 'bow out of the World Cup in style'

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Saudi manager Juan Antonio Pizzi said his team will attempt to cut off passes to Egypt star Mohamed Salah, just as they did to a degree of success with Uruguay and Luis Suarez last week.

“When it comes to Mohamed Salah, it’s the same,” Pizzi said. “He has huge qualities and it is no coincidence that has had that wonderful career in England, especially this past year. We will take precautions, not specific to him, but obviously trying to contain him."

Speaking about Saudi's response to the heavy defeat to Russia, Pizzi added: “It really threw us off track. With the commitment and determination of the players we were able to come back and take the battle to Uruguay and put in a very good show.

"And now we have a great opportunity to continue along this line. We have to try and obtain the kind of result that at the very outset we were out to achieve, and that was to win a match.”