Egypt’s Mohamed Salah was all smiles during warmups, but he’ll begin the game against Uruguay on the bench.
Mohamed Salah was a question mark to play in Egypt’s first World Cup match since 1990 because of the shoulder injury he suffered in the Liverpool’s Champions League final loss to Real Madrid, and he’s not in the Pharaohs’ starting lineup Friday (his 26th birthday).
Nevertheless, Coach Hector Cuper said Thursday that “we can say almost 100 percent he will play, barring any unforeseen factors at the last moment.” If you remove Salah’s goals from Egypt’s last 10 games, they’ve scored exactly twice , and in two warm-up friendlies without Salah this month the Pharaohs failed to score in a draw with Colombia and a 3-0 loss to Belgium.
Also of note: Cuper is going with Mohamed Elshenawy instead of Essam El-Hadary in goal, preventing El-Hadary from becoming, at 45, the oldest man to play in a World Cup game.
Egypt: Elshenewy; Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel Shafi; Hamed, Elneny; Trezeguet, Said, Warda; Mohsen.
Uruguay: Muslera; Varela, Godín, Giménez, Cáceres; Nandez, Bentancur; Vecino, De Arrascaeta, Suárez; Cavani.
If Salah isn’t at full strength on the field, Mahmoud Hassan could possibly pick up the slack.
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