Experienced head coach Hector Cuper declared Salah failed a late fitness test before the opening 1-0 loss to Uruguay and he carefully went through further checks during the Pharoahs' pre-match training session at Krestovsky Stadium on Monday.
Denis Cheryshev capped a brace in Russia's opening 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia with a superb stoppage-time finish but the Spanish-raised midfielder knows all about an esteemed tactician who he expects to make life hard for his teammates.
Egypt was also shorthanded on the attack side as Egypt's midfielder and top scorer Mohamed Salah could not make the game due to shoulder injury after a clash with Manchester United's Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final. And yet they are on the verge of marching on, with an impressive 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia and this hard-fought 3-1 victory over Egypt.
Salah rifled home the penalty into the roof of the net but that was good as Egypt got on a disappointing night in Saint Petersburg.
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system proved its worth to give Egypt a glimmer of hope when referee Enrique Caceres had initially awarded a foul outside the box rather than a penalty when Salah was pulled by Zhirkov.
"Perhaps we weren't decisive enough, perhaps we lacked that little extra thing to get there, but I must recognise the great effort that they have done after 28 years where Egypt had not taken part in a World Cup".
Coach Stanislav Cherchesov started center back Sergei Ignashevich, 38, and full back Yuri Zhirkov, 34, in the first match, and if the Russian Federation coach sticks with the same duo, Egypt and Salah could capitalize.
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For him the culprits were "a lack of accuracy and quality", "unnecessary mistakes" and failing to match Senegal's "aggression". Senegal took the lead when Mbaye Niang went around Lukasz Piszczek on the flank following a restart and centred to Sadio Mané.
In the end, however, the response was unable to conjure any sort of comeback for the Egyptians, as Stanislav Cherchesov's charges eased to an emphatic win that now leaves the hosts on the verge of reaching the knockout stages. But for a large majority of the game, the Egyptian king seemed to have lost his sceptre of influence. Salah's inclusion will add some firepower in Egypt's chances of scoring a goal.
Against the Saudis, the hosts were fluent in attack but untested in defence, something Egypt superstar Mohamed Salah will be aware of.
After a goalless first 45 minutes during which Egypt were the livelier side but were clearly nervous in front of goal, the game burst into life in the most fortuitous of manners from the hosts, Captain Ahmed Fathi deflecting a shot into his own net two minutes into the second half. The team scored just 12 minutes into Thursday's opener against Saudi Arabia and cruised to a 5-0 victory.
Russian Federation dominated much of the first half but Egypt were able to offer glimmers of quality at times, Trezeguet drifting off the left flank to bend an effort wide of the far post with Igor Akinfeev scrambling.
By starting its World Cup with a win, Senegal also saved Africa from embarrassment in the tournament.
Another game at the World Cup and another own goal.