Egypt forward Salah’s absence won’t change Uruguay’s plans: Tabarez

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Montevideo, June 5 (IANS) Uruguay have not changed their preparations for the team’s opening FIFA World Cup match against Egypt despite the likely absence of Mohamed Salah, the former champions’ coach Oscar Tabarez said.

Salah has been given little chance of playing in the June 15 fixture in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, as he recovers from a shoulder injury, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Because of his characteristics, you need to take care about how you occupy spaces,” Tabarez told reporters on Monday.

“But I think that changing all of our preparations for that reason (Salah’s probable absence) is over the top. We don’t even know for sure if he is going to play or not. If he plays, we will have to take precautions because of his very high level.”

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Salah was one of the most prolific forwards in Europe last season, scoring 44 goals and laying off 16 assists for Liverpool across all competitions.

Last October, the 25-year-old became a national hero by converting a 95th-minute penalty to send Egypt to the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

But his availability for the tournament was plunged into doubt when he was forced off during Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat of Liverpool in the Champions League final on May 26.

Egypt’s national team medical staff subsequently said the forward’s absence “would not exceed three weeks”.

–IANS

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