Tabarez: Uruguay have a good chance to beat Egypt


Egypt forward Mohamed Salah has recovered from a shoulder injury and is nearly 100 percent certain to play in their World Cup opener against Uruguay, coach Hector Cuper said on Thursday, ending weeks of suspense about the fitness of his most risky striker.

This means that, in Russian Federation, the Socceroos will be free to play the tenacious underdog and attempt to eke out what results they can to "get out of their group".

The Pharaohs are appearing in just their third World Cup and a first since 1990 - somewhat ironically, since they were the first African team to play in the tournament, way back in 1934.

If anyone at this World Cup has arrived feeling as though they may need to redeem himself, it's Luis Suarez.

Egypt were lackluster in the subsequent warm-ups, losing to Greece 1-0, salvaging a late 1-1 draw at Kuwait, holding Colombia to a 0-0 draw before suffering a 3-0 defeat by a vibrant Belgium side. All these players will be looking to service Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani up front.

Suarez might get most of the plaudits at domestic level, but Cavani has been the star of Uruguay's show recently.

There will be no bigger opportunity for Suarez than this to make up for the two instances.

After injuring his shoulder in Liverpool's Champions League final, it was the news that the nation was dreading. Posing for a picture with a fan, Salah was still in visible discomfort after his shoulder was accidentally knocked.

Cuper went on to say that team doctors will let Salah decide whether he can play.

Friday is also Salah's 26th birthday. Not only from a scouting point of view, but to see whether there is a chink in either sides' armour; could the second spot be there for the taking?

Group A's first match featured hosts Russian Federation (against Saudi Arabia), a day later, all eyes are now on the other group clash, between Uruguay and Egypt. But knowing Tabarez, he might opt for the 4-4-2 which gives him defensive solidity. With even Mourinho, one of the world's most miserable (yet effective) managers, backing us, how can you not have hope?

The flanks will see Nahitan Nandez on the right wing while Cristian Rodriguez plays on the left.

Perhaps the wisest move is to rest the Liverpool man and shift all efforts on the next two matches? Vecino had a good season with Inter Milan, helping them qualify for the Champions League and he will be tasked with defensive midfield duties. Expect them to maintain the greatest possible pressure against Egypt.

However, far from his usual role as aggressor on the field, Ramos had to act as peacemaker on Thursday as Spain tried to move on from a dramatic few days that have rocked their World Cup preparations.