Mohamed Salah injury: Egypt reveal why Liverpool star missed Uruguay defeat

Jo Caldwell
June 20, 2018

Mohamed Salah is nearly 100 per cent certain to feature in Egypt's World Cup opener against Uruguay on Friday, coach Hector Cuper said.

Salah's World Cup dream was left on the brink when he exited the final in tears after Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos wrestled him to the ground.

Russian Federation will take on Egypt at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 19, whereas, Saudi Arabia will play against Uruguay the following day at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don.

"I like the best players to play, I train with the best and I want the best players to play", said Muslera.

Egypt will also play hosts Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia during the group stage and Cuper intends to stick to the formula that has served the team well so far.

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Uruguay's deserved last-gasp victory leaves them and Russian Federation in early control in Group A after the hosts' 5-0 mauling of Saudi Arabia in the tournament opener on Thursday.

"Uruguay is a team that's always a threat on set pieces".

With its traditional defensive tactics preferred by Cuper, Egypt badly needs Salah and his goals to succeed.

Uruguay, though, are a team used to starting slowly in World Cups. Marwan Mohsen as a lone striker is not likely to be enough for the team at this year's tournament.

Former Egypt manager Bob Bradley has revealed he is still hopeful that Egypt will reach the round of 16 despite the Uruguay defeat.

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Anything but a win against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday would be a surprise. With a victory, Uruguay could reach the next stage with a game in hand against host Russian Federation on June 25. Hosts Russia kicked off the tournament against Saudi Arabia on Thursday, and Friday holds plenty of excitement in store. Tabarez called it "secondary statistics".

Goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, who would be the oldest player to feature in a World Cup at 45-years-and-5-months-old, was also only named as an Egypt substitute and did not enter the fray. "We've broken the spell".

That came in the 24th minute after Edinson Cavani won a corner with a volley that was smartly headed over by Ali Gabr. Cuper didn't use it as an excuse.

The result is slightly scrappy, underwhelming football, short of fluidity or goalmouth action - and, correspondingly, a premium on the sort if dynamic attacking player who can transform games.

Spain open their World Cup campaign with what should be their toughest test in Group B.

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