Before this Premier League season Egypt was going to be a cusp team if they made it to the World Cup for 2018. Fast forward to now and Egypt claims the most explosive player in international football, Mohammad Salah. The Liverpool forward has lit the Premier League on fire and looks to continue his form into Russia, where he can hopefully pull his country deep into the tournament.
– Saudi Arabia
Players to watch for from Egypt:
Mohammad Salah – Winner of the Premier League scoring title, Salah netted 32 goals this season, and added 11 assists. In 15 Champions Leagues matches he scored 11 goals with 5 assists. The man can score goals. He will elevate his entire team and will likely need to for Egypt to secure success in this tournament. Salah is showing superstar power that could be lightning in a bottle for Egypt!
Mohamed Elneny – Arsenal’s holding midfielder is playing for both country and team as he is looking to impress his new manager back in London. In hopes of securing regular playing time, Elneny should be the key transitional player for Egypt linking possession turn overs to Salah’s boot and the offence.
Ahmed Hegazi – Newly relegated West Bromwich and Albion defender Hegazi turned his season around at the end of the season. He too has more than national pride to play for, as his professional career can be rescued from the English Championship with a solid tournament. He gets up into set piece play really well and transitions from stalwart defender to aerial box threat very quickly.
Egypt has the ability to take advantage of their group and build some momentum early in this tournament. Most would assume Uruguay, led by Edinson Cavani of PSG, will win the group outright, with Saudi Arabia probably losing out. That leaves Egypt and host nation Russia to duke it out and challenge Uruguay. Simply put, the dynamic playmaking and goal scoring of Mo Salah can seal this group up for Egypt. He is fun to watch and will make Egypt a dangerous team this year.
THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WRINKLE
It couldn’t have just been a clean final, win or loss, for Mo Salah eh? Twenty minutes into the final against Real Madrid a suspicious looking tackle from noted dirty player Sergio Ramos saw Salah’s arm grabbed and pinned under the Spanish defenders body, resulting in a dislocated shoulder and forced substitution.
In tears as he left, Salah was saddened to let his team down with this injury, but the bigger picture looms: Egypt’s hopes at this tournament lie in his hands. Without his pace and offensive talent there is little to no hope for the Egyptian team – and that’s not being harsh on them.
It appears that Salah will be out for three weeks now, a convenient time line seeing as that would take him to the start of the World Cup, but hopefully he can put it behind him in time. Those who have suffered dislocation injuries know that there is no standard when it comes to these injuries and they vary in severity and recovery time.