EXTRA Renard’s Morocco out to upset odds in World Cup

Yekaterinburg, Russia (dpa) – Egypt have been handed a huge boost ahead of their opening World Cup fixture against Uruguay on Friday as star striker Mohamed Salah is set to play. “If nothing unforeseen happens, he will play,” coach Hector Cuper told a news conference Thursday. “I am convinced he will be on the field tomorrow.”

Salah is a key player for Egypt as they return to the finals for the first time since 1990. He netted five of Egypt's eight goals, including the late winner against Congo in October, in qualifying the Pharaohs for Russia. But the country was thrown into panic when Salah suffered a shoulder injury with Liverpool in the Champions League final last month.

“Mo has recovered very quickly, we have looked after him a lot,” said Cuper. Salah must still come through a final training session before the Group A clash in Yekaterinburg but “definitely has no fear of playing,” his coach said. Should he return as hoped, it would be the ideal present – Salah will celebrate his 26th birthday on Friday.

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