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Salah fitness doubts cast shadow over Pharaohs’ World Cup return

Moscow, Thursday @PeopleSports11

The question of Mohamed Salah’s fitness dominates the agenda ahead of Egypt’s return to World Cup action against Uruguay.

Published 16 hours ago

Egypt return to World Cup action for the first time since 1990 with a difficult opening Group A fixture against Uruguay, and with the fitness of star man Mohamed Salah still in doubt.

Salah’s participation at the tournament was plunged into uncertainty when he suffered a shoulder injury in a challenge with Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos during Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat last month. 

The talismanic forward, who scored 44 goals in all competitions in an incredible debut season at Anfield, has insisted he will be fit for Friday’s clash in Yekaterinburg.

However, head coach Hector Cuper, leading a side at a World Cup for the first time, says there is more to a team that reached the final of last year’s Africa Cup of Nations than just Salah.

“We’re not Mohamed Salah’s national team, this team has many players who cooperate with each other to reach the best results,” Cuper told MBC Masr TV.

“Egypt is lucky that this generation has one of the best players in the world but our tactics don’t solely revolve around him.”

Uruguay’s preparation for the tournament has been comparatively free of drama, and La Celeste coasted to a 3-0 win over Uzbekistan in their warm-up game.

There is pressure on Oscar Tabarez, preparing to coach in a World Cup for the fourth time, and his Uruguay side, who are regarded as favourites for a group also featuring hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Uruguay disappointed in being knocked out in the last 16 in 2014 after reaching the semi-finals in 2010, and despite their favourable group, captain Diego Godin is not looking beyond their opening test.                                                      -AFP

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