Mohamed Salah in starting line-up for Egypt v Russian Federation: team


Mohamed Salah in starting line-up for Egypt v Russian Federation: team

Having each played one game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Egypt will be looking for more, while Russian Federation seeks more of the same. He scored a consolation penalty but it wasn't enough to inspire a comeback.

They will bang their hope on a miracle, an unlikely victory by Saudi Arabia against Uruguay in Group A's other game on Wednesday, if they are to stay in the tournament.

"I hope he will be fit to play", Egypt coach Hector Cuper said Monday before training began.

"We had a good first half but then we had 10-15 really bad minutes and that's why we lost".

Salah collected a plethora of end-of-season awards after a stellar debut campaign with Liverpool that yielded an incredible 44 goals in all competitions.

The match takes place at Saint Petersburg Stadium at 20:00 CEST.

It was clear too in the first 30 minutes, when the 26-year-old barely touched the ball, and when he did, turned back, looked inside or, on more than one occasion, gave it away.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's match in St Petersburg, Cuper again put himself at odds with his federation by insisting final medical checks must be carried out, although he expects Salah to face hosts buoyed by a 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia. "He had to train alone", Cuper said. One even arrived wearing a Real Madrid shirt, with Ramos' name printed on the back.

Russia's head coach Stanislav Cherchesov, a former goalkeeper, made his sole World Cup appearance in that game.

Salah showed glimpses but his touch was never crisp, his thought process indecisive.

Salah's first sight on goal came four minutes to halftime as he shot wide on the turn from the edge of the area.

The defeat stunned Egypt, a football insane nation of some 100 million people whose hopes have been pinned on Salah delivering the desired result. Many watching the match at cafes left in tears or in rage after the third goal, a predictable reaction given the hype that has surrounded Salah and the national team since qualification was secured in October.