#RUSSIA2018

Salah looks certain to play for Egypt in World Cup opener

By AFP 14 June 2018

Egyptian national soccer team striker Mohamed Salah (C) attends his team's training session at Cairo international stadium in Cairo, Egypt, 09 June 2018. The Egyptian national soccer team prepares for the FIFA World Cup 2018 taking place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018. EPA-EFE/KHALED ELFIQI

Barring a last-minute incident, Mohamed Salah will play for Egypt on Friday.

Egypt coach Hector Cuper said that star striker Mohamed Salah has recovered from his shoulder injury and will almost certainly play against Uruguay in the sides’ World Cup opener on Friday.

“We still have to see how training goes today, but I can almost assure you 100 percent that he’ll play, we are all very optimistic that he will be on the pitch,” Cuper announced on Thursday.

The 62-year-old Argentine added: “Salah is very good and he’s recovered very quickly.”

Salah, who sustained the injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final loss to Real Madrid on May 26, is one of the biggest names at the World Cup and crucial to the north African side’s hopes of making it out of a weak-looking Group A also featuring the hosts and Saudi Arabia.

Egypt play Uruguay – tipped by some to be dark horses – in Yekaterinburg in just the second game of the tournament, following Russia against Saudi Arabia in the opening match later Thursday.

Salah was one of the outstanding players in the world this season as he helped propel Liverpool to the Champions League final.

Salah, who turns 26 on the day of the game, gave 100 million frantic Egyptians a massive boost on Wednesday when he joined a squad training session at their Grozny base.

His World Cup dream was left on the brink when he exited the Champions League final in tears after Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos wrestled him to the ground nearly three weeks ago.  DM

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