Read our Egypt Preview: World Cup 2018 to learn more about The Pharoahs who are in the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
Egypt Preview: World Cup 2018
Goalkeepers: Essam El Hadary, Mohamed El-Shennawy, Sherif Ekramy, Mohamed Awad
Defenders: Ahmed Fathi, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf, Mahmoud Hamdy, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy, Ahmed Hegazi and Ali Gabr, Ahmed Elmohamady, Karim Hafez, Omar Gaber, Amro Tarek
Midfielders: Tarek Hamed, Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, Shikabala, Abdallah Said, Sam Morsy, Mohamed Elneny, Kahraba, Ramadan Sobhi, Trezeguet, Amr Warda
Forwards: Marwan Mohsen, Ahmed Gomaa, Kouka, Mohamed Salah
- Manager: Hector Cuper
- Captain: Essam El-Hadary
- Best Finish: Group Stage 1990
Likely starting lineup
You suspect Sergio Ramos is as unpopular in Egypt as he is in Liverpool at the moment. His tangle with Mohamed Salah in the Champions League final made the African nation take a collective intake of breath.
After all, Salah has become an almost deistic figure in his homeland. A status that was secured even before his stunning end to the Premier League and Champions League season. His last-gasp penalty against Congo last year sent Egypt to the finals for the first time since 1990 and a country into raptures.
While Salah is important to the Pharaoh’s cause in Russia, there’s a bit more to Egypt than the Liverpool man. Manager Hector Cuper has fashioned a very handy side indeed.
Granted, they aren’t the best to watch at times and you sense their gameplan will stem from sitting deep and springing in Russia. What this team has showcased so far under Cuper is they have what it takes to soak up pressure for spells; 45-year-old goalkeeper and skipper Essam El-Hadary has been crucial to that.
There are some familiar names in the setup elsewhere, with West Brom duo Ali Gabr and Ahmed Hegazi poised to man the centre of defence. Mohamed Elneny missed the end of the season for Arsenal, but he should be fit to feature.
The issue for the team in their qualifying run, aside from the concession of some cheap goals from crosses and set pieces, has been finding forwards to combine with Salah. Trezeguet and Abdallah El Said both have their moments, although they’re inconsistent in their output in the main.
Key Man – Mohamed Salah
It’d be harsh to bracket Egypt as a one-man team, although aside from Lionel Messi and Argentina, there perhaps isn’t one player more important to his country’s hopes than Salah is for Egypt.
Even a side as high-class as Liverpool were noticeably deflated when Salah hobbled out of the Champions League final. And that’s understandable, because the forward brings a vibrancy and incision that few in world football can offer.
Without the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino around, Egypt thrust even more onus on their No. 11. Salah has relished in the main and when the eyes of the world were on him prior to that penalty against Congo, he didn’t flinch at all.
There are questions about Salah heading into the tournament, though. Will he be at full fitness after what happened against Madrid? Are Egypt good enough to utilise him effectively? How will he cope with the focus that’ll inevitably come his way from other teams at this tournament?
Based on what we’ve seen on Merseyside this season, Salah has the talent and temperament to answer them all emphatically. Here’s hoping he’s in good enough condition to do so and cap an incredible campaign with some stellar performances on the grandest stage in the game.
Egypt’s Group Stage fixtures
Friday, June 15
Tuesday, June 19
Monday, June 25
Egypt’s path to the final
If Egypt wins Group A, their Round of 16 game will be against the country that finishes second from Group B which will either be Spain, Morocco, Iran or Portugal. If Egypt wins that Round of 16 game, Egypt will enter the quarterfinal stage with a game against either the winner of Group C (either France, Australia, Peru, Denmark) or the team that finishes second in Group C (Argentina, Iceland, Nigeria or Croatia). If Egypt advances to the semi-final stage, it’ll play the winner of the quarterfinal that pitted the winner of E1 vs. F2 against the winner of G1 vs. H2.
If Egypt finishes second in Group A, Egypt will play the team that finishes first in Group B (either Spain, Morocco, Iran or Portugal). If Egypt wins that game, it would be in the quarterfinal against whoever is victorious between the winner of Group D (either Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria or Iceland) and the team that finishes second in Group C (either France, Australia, Peru or Denmark). If Egypt advances to the semi-final stage, it’ll play the winner of the quarterfinal that pitted the winner of F1 vs. E2 against the winner of H1 vs. G2.
Egypt World Cup shirt (home)
All eyes will be on the Pharoahs of Egypt, not only because this will be their first world cup appearance since 1990, but because of the man who played a key part in getting them there. A top scorer for club and country, Mohamed Salah has mesmerized fans around the world with his level of play this season.
The red home jersey has a subtle checkered pattern on the front. Black trim on the cuffs and crew neck. White adidas stripes are on the sides. Sewn on federation badge.
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