Egypt ready for tough Uruguay test – Hector Cuper

Egypt head coach Hector Cuper says they are prepared for their 2018 Fifa World Cup group stage clash against Uruguay.

It has been 28 years since the Pharaohs last featured in the globally acclaimed tourney – they played in Italy 1990. Now the Africans have a tough hurdle to climb at the Ekaterinburg Stadium today June 15 against Los Charruas.

There were huge doubts on the fitness of team talisman Mohammed Salah ahead of this epic group A encounter. But the winger seems to have cleared all fears as he joined training on Thursday. The Liverpool star suffered a shoulder injury, after a clash with Sergio Ramos, in the Reds’ Uefa Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Cuper spoke to reporters in his pre-match conference, expressing how his side awaits their first contest against Uruguay.

Readiness for the game: Even against Argentina I want to win. I’ve been working here for three and a half years and I’ve become Egyptian. I want to lead the national team to victory.

Defensive team tag: We’ve achieved a lot by following that path, so with very little time before the World Cup it would be risky to change things substantially in our style. I don’t like to practise at the World Cup with things we haven’t done before. Sometimes, you have to perfect and fine-tune the things that you do well.”

Team quality: I understand that the supporters sometimes have other expectations. Salah is the star but it’s possible that a goalkeeper or a defender will come to the rescue. And then there are the midfielders, who do a lot of running for the team.

On Uruguay: The Uruguay team has a strong attacking line-up in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. They have lot of quality in all departments and can be aggressive. But our players have the desire and enthusiasm to play an excellent match.

Mohammed Salah: Egypt are lucky to have one of the best players in the world in their ranks. Mohamed Salah is the Egyptian Messi, but we can’t just rely on him.

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