MOHAMED Salah was not included in Egypt’s starting line-up for their World Cup opener against Uruguay on Friday following his shoulder injury.
The star striker, who turned 26 on Friday, suffered the injury three weeks ago in Liverpool’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.
On the eve of the Uruguay match, Egypt coach Hector Cuper said Salah was fit, raising Egyptian hopes that he would start the Group A clash.
Meanwhile, Uruguay forward Luis Suarez is chasing redemption on Friday night (kickoff 10pm AEST) in his first World Cup appearance since being thrown out of the 2014 tournament for biting.
The controversial Barcelona striker, 31, has been described on the eve of their first game in Russia as “more mature” by Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez.
The next few days and weeks will be the time to prove it because Suarez will be past his prime or even retired by the time the next World Cup comes around, in Qatar in 2022.
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The livewire forward’s history with the World Cup is a controversial one. In 2010 — before he became the global star that he is today — Suarez was sent off in extra-time in the quarter-finals for stopping a certain goal with his hand and Uruguay went on to beat Ghana on penalties.
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He was branded a cheat in much of the world but was a hero in Uruguay. Then four years ago in Brazil, Suarez tried to take a lump out of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and was subsequently banned for several months — it was the third time during his career that he had bitten an opponent.
But from pantomime villain castigated the world over (except in Uruguay), Suarez has mostly recovered his reputation.
Once arguably the world’s premier striker himself, Suarez tonight faces off against one of the most prolific marksman on the planet in Egypt’s Mohamed Salah.
The Liverpool star is expected to shake off a shoulder injury to be fit and carries the hops of his nation as Egypt return to the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
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