Egypt forward Mohamed Salah is “almost 100%” certain to play in Friday’s World Cup opener against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg, says boss Hector Cuper. Salah, 25, has not played since injuring shoulder ligaments during Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid on 26 May. “I can almost assure you 100% he will play, save unforeseen circumstances at the very last minute,” said Cuper.
The match will be Egypt’s first at a World Cup finals in 28 years. Defender Ali Gabr should also be fit to play after bruising his face in training. Uruguay, meanwhile, are expected to name a youthful midfield featuring 20 year-old Rodrigo Bentancur and Nahitan Nandez, 22. But they boast plenty of experience elsewhere, not least the potent frontline of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.
Russia and Saudi Arabia are the two other teams in Group A.