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Salah is '100 percent' to start against Uruguay

15 June 2018

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 will go as far as Liverpool striker Mo Salah takes them, but he's recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in the Champions League final last month and won't start Friday.

Egypt's Group A schedule kicks off on June 15 against Uruguay, followed by Russian Federation on June 19 and Saudi Arabia on June 25. Luis Suarez got his first half chance of the afternoon off a pullback from Guillermo Varela but the Barcelona man pulled his shot very wide.

Uruguay continued to labour in the attacking third before the break, while a healthy Egyptian contingent had only Salah's appearance on the stadium's big screen to cheer. After becoming the first African-born player to score 30 goals in a Premier League season, Salah could be on a trajectory that sees him become just the second African to win a Ballon d'Or.

Uruguay´s deserved last-gasp victory leaves them and Russian Federation in early control in Group A after the hosts´ 5-0 mauling of Saudi Arabia in the tournament opener on Thursday.

Uruguay are considered favorites to snatch all three points but Egypt's spectacular journey to the World Cup coupled with Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah's scintillating form could mean that this won't be a game won on paper.

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"He's certainly important, nobody can deny that, but you need a good team too - and we are a good team", said Cuper.

"We have to be realistic: We're going to be playing against the best teams and players in the world", Cuper said of Egypt's chances.

Still, one has to wonder now how healthy Salah really is.

Marwan Mohsen played as a lone forward for Egypt, but with Salah missing and Uruguay skipper Diego Godin imperious, he hardly had a sniff.

Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny and West Bromwich Albion's Ahmed Hegazy have been named in the squad. As the game went on, his teammates stopped trying to attack exclusively though Suarez; Edinson Cavani came close twice, including a rocket off the post from a free kick.

Salah is '100 percent' to start against Uruguay