Mohamed Salah is facing an early exit from the World Cup after Egypt lost their second consecutive Group A game on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Egypt is coming off a 1-0 loss to Uruguay after finishing atop its group in qualifying with a 4-1-1 record.
Salah did net Egypt's first goal at a World Cup since 1990 from the penalty spot after he had been hauled down 17 minutes from time, but it was too little, too late for the Pharaohs.
Russian Federation can clinch a place in the knockout rounds with a win over Egypt.
Everything in this match comes down to Salah returning for Egypt and taking the pitch in decent fitness. Russia's games are growing in difficulty, and a result against Egypt is paramount with Uruguay waiting in the wings.
But ahead of tonight's World Cup clash, Salah's profile has been dismissed as his opponents look to get in his head. Goals have rarely been a strong point under Cuper, and it was Salah, with that dramatic double contribution against Congo last October, who booked their World Cup trip in the first place.
For much of the 90 minutes at the St. Petersburg Stadium, the 26-year-old Egyptian tried to find space for himself, with his teammates unable or incapable to provide him with the kind of service he receives at Liverpool. Egypt likely closes out their tournament in their next match, which comes against Saudi Arabia.
"When we talk about 100%, we have to look at the medical side".
He wasn't pleased with Egypt's inability to finish plays, even with striker Mohamed Salah back from injury. "The only thing I can be sad for is I would have liked to have seen him present at the training ground with the team". On that occasion Salah did not make it, and Egypt fell agonisingly short, losing to an 89th minute goal that left their hopes of escaping Group A hanging in the balance.