The hopes of millions of Egypt fans rest largely on the shoulders of one man this summer – Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
However, the star striker suffered a shoulder injury following a tussle with Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos in the Champions League Final.
That seemed to have scuppered Egyptian hopes of a successful World Cup run. But the most recent updates suggest the 25-year-old could still play a key role.
Salah himself posted a photo of his rehabilitation with the message “Good feelings” on social media. And Liverpool teammate Dejan Lovren also seemed to have positive news.
The Serbian told media: “Hopefully he can be fit for the World Cup because I know it means a lot to him to play for his national team. I’m positive. I have some news but I will keep it to myself!”
There’s no doubting the impact the Reds hitman has for the national side.
The Pharaohs haven’t won any of their last four games without him. That’s a stark contrast to the nine victories in the previous 14 games where he’s featured.
As the focal point of their 4-2-3-1 system under head coach Hector Cuper, he’s likely to be the difference between success and failure.
As it stands, he’s almost certain to miss the opening game against Uruguay. However, that might not be a huge issue.
With the South Americans likely to top the group, it’s the later meetings with Russia and Saudi Arabia which will probably define Egypt’s tournament.
As for Salah – despite injury woes, he’s still 40/1 to be World Cup top goalscorer.
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