Salah left out of starting line-up for Egypt World Cup opener

AFP
Mohamed Salah was not included in Egypt's starting line-up for their World Cup opener against Uruguay on Friday following his shoulder injury. The star striker, who turned...
AFP
AFP

Mohamed Salah was not included in Egypt's starting line-up for their World Cup opener against Uruguay on Friday following his shoulder injury.

The star striker, who turned 26 on Friday, suffered the injury three weeks ago in Liverpool's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

On the eve of the Uruguay match, Egypt coach Hector Cuper said Salah was fit, raising Egyptian hopes that he would start the Group A clash.

Salah's absence is a blow to Egypt's hopes of making a strong start to their World Cup assault in Russia, against a talented Uruguay side boasting former Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.

Salah, one of the best players in the world this season, was with the Egyptian players as they strolled on the pitch before the game in Yekaterinburg but it remains to be seen if he plays any part in the match as a substitute.

The Egyptians will start with Marwan Mohsen, who plays for domestic side Al Ahly, as the lone out-and-out striker.

Salah's omission from the first XI is something of a surprise given Cuper's comments on Thursday, when he said: "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."

The 62-year-old Argentine added: "Salah is very good and he's recovered very quickly."

Salah is crucial to Egypt's hopes of making it out of a weak-looking group also featuring hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Russia put pressure on the rest of the group with a 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia in the opening match on Thursday.

Salah was outstanding as he helped propel Liverpool to the Champions League final.

But his 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.

Cuper has attempted to dismiss the notion that Egypt are a one-man side, but with 44 goals in all competitions this season for Liverpool, Salah's badly timed injury became a national obsession back home and made global headlines.

In contrast, Uruguay are at full-strength with Edinson Cavani partnering Suarez up front for Oscar Tabarez's side, tipped by some as outsiders to win the tournament.

Starting line-ups for the World Cup match between Egypt and Uruguay in Group A in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Friday (1200 GMT kick-off):

Egypt

Mohamed El Shenawy, Ahmed Fathi (capt), Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Mohamed Elneny, Tarek Hamed, Amr Warda, Abdalla Said, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Marwan Mohsen

Coach: Hector Cuper (ARG)

Uruguay

Fernando Muslera, Guillermo Varela, Diego Godin (capt), Jose Gimenez, Martin Caceres, Nahitan Nandez, Rodrigo Bentancur, Matias Vecino, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani

Coach: Oscar Tabarez (URU)

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED)

Special Reports
Top