The world’s eyes are on Mohamed Salah as hopeful Egypt take on Russia

Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah at a training session on June 18, 2018 in Saint Petersburg during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. (AFP)
Updated 20 June 2018
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The world’s eyes are on Mohamed Salah as hopeful Egypt take on Russia

  • Egypt are counting on the return of Mohamed Salah on Tuesday as they face Russia
  • The Liverpool wizard missed his team’s 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Friday

SAINT PETERSBURG: Egypt are counting on the return of Mohamed Salah on Tuesday as they try to salvage their World Cup against a Russian side who know a win could seal a place in the last 16.
Liverpool wizard Salah missed his team’s 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Friday as he struggles to recover from the shoulder injury he sustained during last month’s Champions League Final.
Salah’s shoulder has continued to cause him problems in Russia, and at the weekend he needed the help of three team-mates to put a shirt on during a training session in Grozny.
Egypt’s Argentine coach Hector Cuper said on Monday Salah was fit to play but will undergo a test before kick-off in Saint Petersburg.
“I hope he will be fit to play, I’m sure he will be able to play. He is a central piece in our team,” Cuper said.
If Egypt lose, it will likely end their competitive involvement in their first World Cup since 1990, so 96 million Egyptians are willing him to be on the pitch.
Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov was bullish that his team can rein in the explosive striker, who scored 44 goals in a remarkable debut season at Liverpool.
“We know how to play against him,” he said. “We are ready to stop Salah and we will.”
Russia got their World Cup off to the perfect start on Thursday with a 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia, but are under no illusions that the seven-time African champions pose a far tougher test — providing Salah plays.
“Egypt’s game with Salah is different from the one they play without him,” forward Alexei Miranchuk said.


Arab star Ons Jabeur defeats former world No. 2

Updated 29 min 40 sec ago
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Arab star Ons Jabeur defeats former world No. 2

  • Tunisian beats Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-2
  • Jabeur now through to quarterfinal of Bucharest Open

LONDON: Ons Jabeur claimed one of the biggest scalps of her career when she knocked former world No. 2 Vera Zvonareva out of the Bucharest Open.
The Tunisia ace had been pitched against the Russian in a tricky last 16 tie of the tournament on clay, but she rose to the challenge, winning 6-2, 6-2.
Jabeur will now meet another Russian, Polona Hercog, in the quarterfinal of the event which carries a prize fund of $250,000.
The win over Zvonareva will give Jabeur huge confidence as this was an opponent who reached the final of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010 and who won the doubles at the Australian Open in 2012 and the US Open in 2006.

Zvonareva has since dropped to 142 in the world rankings and Jabeur was probably the favorite having risen to 123 in the world, but Zvonareva still boasted that big-match experience and it will do wonders for Jabeur's belief that she was able to put away a player of pedigree with such ease.
Jabeur's form in Bucharest continues the good run of form the 23-year-old has been on this year. She reached the second round of Wimbledon for the first time ever, pocketing £108,000 ($142,000) and becoming the first Arab woman to win a singles match at Wimbledon since her compatriot Selima Sfar in 2005. She also won a ITF $100,000 title in Manchester earlier this month without dropping a set.
Jabeur began the week with a straight-sets win over home favorite Irina-Camelia Begu, who was watched by world No. 1 Simona Halep.