Mohamed Salah has not been named in Egypt’s starting XI as they begin their World Cup campaign against Uruguay. Egypt’s last World Cup was in 1990 in a tough group with England, Ireland and the Netherlands, and coincidentally Oscar Tabarez was manager of the Uruguay national team in that tournament, as he is this year at 71 years old.
Egypt’s defender Ahmed Fathi (left) defends against Uruguay’s forward Luis Suarez (right) during their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group A match at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg on June 15, 2018.
Cuper’s side haven’t won in six games since Salah’s double over the Congo saw them secure their place at the quadrennial competition. The doctors are giving him the option to play or not.
But Gimenez finally made the breakthrough to put Uruguay second in the group behind hosts Russian Federation, who battered Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the tournament and group opener on Thursday.
The second Group A match of the football world cup will start at 5 pm local time, 5:30 pm IST and 1 pm BST.
Salah’s omission came as a big surprise and he went unused despite Egypt putting on three substitutes. Mohamed Elneny isn’t in the best form, as the Arsenal playmaker has been hurrying to recover from an ankle ligament injury.
“We were quite certain in the training session that he would be able to play”.
The Sky Blue team has prepped quite well over the recent week at the Sports Center Borsky back in Uruguay, with all footballers at the disposal of their veteran head coach.
Uruguay will be the favourites to emerge from the group, given their superior experience and notable firepower up front, but the other three sides will keep a close eye on the runners-up spot.
Marwan Mohsen played as a lone forward for Egypt, but with Salah missing and Uruguay skipper Diego Godin imperious, he hardly had a sniff.
Egypt were lackluster in the subsequent warm-ups, losing to Greece 1-0, salvaging a late 1-1 draw at Kuwait, holding Colombia to a 0-0 draw before suffering a 3-0 defeat by a vibrant Belgium side. Egypt, ranked 45, at best has an outside chance if Salah plays.