Mohamed Salah of Egypt

FIFA World Cup preview: Egypt

Egypt is one of the nations to benefit from the group draw, having scored Russia in their FIFA World Cup pool.

The hosts are expected to be cannon fodder in this group, meaning all three of the other nations will have to fight it out for two spots on offer to progress.

Uruguay are the warm favourites to claim top spot, leaving Egypt and Saudi Arabia to duke it out for the other place.

Hosts traditionally lift when they are a weaker nation, although that didn't happen in South Africa. Russia cannot be taken lightly and this could be tricky little group for the Egyptians.

The draw for Egypt

Uruguay, June 15

Russia, June 20

Saudi Arabia, June 26

The star player

Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah is heads and shoulders the best player in this squad, but will come in underdone.

He suffered a dislocated shoulder in the Champions League final against Real Madrid and was in some doubt for the FIFA World Cup.

While overcoming that injury, he has missed a lot of preparation and how he gels back into this squad will be critical in how far they go in this tournament.

What needs to go right

Firstly, Salah needs to stay fit. If that shoulder goes again, so does Egypt's hopes. Secondly, Egypt cannot take Russia for granted and must take all three points on offer. The side that blinks against the hosts will almost certainly miss out on progression. Egypt opens against Uruguay as well, a tough assignment. They cannot afford to let the scoreline blow out, while a win or draw would be a massive result.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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