Salah almost 100% likely to face Uruguay

2018-06-14 14:39
Mohamed Salah (Supplied)

Cape Town - Mohamed Salah is almost 100% likely to face Uruguay in Egypt's opening encounter in the 2018 Soccer World Cup, head coach Hector Cuper told a news conference.

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The Pharaohs take on Uruguay in a Group A clash on Friday at 14:00 at the Ekaterinburg Arena, Ekaterinburg.

"Salah is fine and has recovered. I assure you 100% that he will be with us tomorrow, barring unforeseen circumstances," Cuper told journalists.

"We're trying to make him feel confident. The doctors are giving him the options to play or not. I know Salah very well, he's not fearful, we always know we're running a risk when playing a match, that's something we can't hide.

"But if he does decide to play he'll have full guarantees on his physical condition and I'm sure he will be fine. And if it does turn out there's an issue at the last minute we'll consider it and see if it can be resolved."

Cuper confirmed on Wednesday that he and his staff had decided on their starting line-up to take on Uruguay. However, he would only publicly announce his starters on Friday.

He added that he appreciated Uruguay as a strong team with some of the best strikers in Cavani and Suarez.

"We have enthusiasm and the seriousness to make an excellent match," Cuper said.

Salah, who turns 26 on the day of the game, gave 100 million frantic Egyptians a massive boost on Wednesday when he joined a squad training session at their Grozny base.

He had been side-lined since suffering a shoulder injury in Liverpool's Champions League final loss to Real Madrid on May 26, casting severe doubt on his World Cup participation.

He went through a range of warm-up exercises with his team-mates, but Egyptian team officials are giving little away.

"There's a good degree of progress but no definitive decision on whether he takes part, as we are following his case day by day," team director Ihab Lahita told reporters.

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