Mohamed Salah's fitness not solely at fault for Egypt's woes - Hector Cuper

Hector Cuper

Hector Cuper

After a goalless first half, Ahmed Fathi scored an own goal before Denis Cheryshev struck and Artem Dzyuba added a third.

Liverpool wizard Salah missed his team's defeat to Uruguay on Friday, June 15, as he struggled to recover from the shoulder injury sustained during last month's Champions League Final.

Salah, who may or may not see his first action of this World Cup in about 90 minutes or so, has found an unlikely supporter in the man who managed him (albeit briefly) at Chelsea.

Hosts Russia got their 2018 World Cup campaign off to the flawless start, annihilating Saudi Arabia in their opening game.

The Egyptian Football Association pushed the notion of Salah making a swift and successful recovery from his shoulder injury, having declared him fit for both their matches in Russian Federation.

And the Egypt global had to watch on as Uruguay claimed a 1-0 win over his side in their group stage opener.

Mourinho: Winner takes all when Russian Federation face Egypt
Russia , who is expected to be boosted by at least 60,000 fans in the arena, smashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opener. But the men in red are now on the cusp of making their first knockout stage of a World Cup in post-Soviet history.

Manager Hector Cuper, speaking at the pre-match press conference, said that Salah was indeed fit to play.

As the hosts of the 2018 World Cup, Russia's minimum goal is to reach the knockout stage.

However, there is a caveat: Mo Salah will be subject to a late fitness test ahead of the game, and should he not pass that, he will not play any part.

If Egypt are going to get anything from this game, you feel Salah will have to produce the magic we know he is capable of - that's if their performance against Uruguay is anything to go by. Egypt's last Group A match is against Saudi Arabia.

"I guess each coach has his or her strategy and they prepare matches according to their philosophy", Cuper said.

It took 40 minutes for the Premier League's Golden Boot victor to have an attempt on goal as the ball fell kindly on the edge of the area, but even on his favoured left foot his effort curled beyond Igor Akinfeev's far post. They can not sacrifice points against either if they hope to avoid joining South Africa as the only hosts to miss getting out of their group.

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