Egypt are only in the World Cup for the third time in their history. However, that excitement has been muted by the loss of Mohamed Salah.
He blossomed into one of the best players in the world this season but now he might miss the tournament. If so, any small chances Egypt may have had could be gone with it.
2018 World Cup Egypt Betting Odds
Odds to Advance: +145 Yes To Advance, -200 No To Advance
Odds to Win World Cup: +17400
World Cup Wins/Best World Cup finish: 13th (1934)
FIFA World Ranking: 46
Manager: Hector Cuper
Captain: Essam El Hadary
Egypt Players to Watch
It is literally all about Salah. He injured his shoulder in the Champions League final for Liverpool. There are some reports that say he could be back for the final group-stage game against Saudi Arabia on June 25th. Then you have to factor in how rusty he might be, although the rest would probably be good for Salah. He played a lot for Liverpool during the season and it won’t take long to get his touch and pace back. However, how comfortable would be he taking contact on that shoulder? If he can’t play, someone like Trezeguet will have to step up. But frankly, he is no Salah.
Egypt World Cup Formation and Projected Starting 11
Goalkeeper: Essam El Hadary
Defense: Ahmed Fathy, Ahmed El Mohamady, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Abdel Shafy
Midfield: Mohamed Salah, Mohamed El Neny, Trezeguet, Tarek Hamed, Abdallah Said
Salah’s pace and trickery opens up a lot for Egypt, although they might not have the talent to take advantage of it. With him, they would be dangerous up front as he’s one of the best offensive players in the world right now. Given what else is around him, there may not be a team that is more dependent on one player than Egypt is on Salah. El Neny is a solid defensive midfielder and there are some other decent players but Salah is all-world.
Being so dependent on one player is more of a weakness than a strength. Who is going to step up if Salah can’t play? Salah has 33 goals for his country. The rest of the team have combined for 37 goals. While Egypt are a disciplined team, they have to score a goal at some point. Without Salah, that doesn’t look like it will happen.
Salah’s injury is just awful for Egypt. It can’t be stated enough. The Egyptian Football Federation has said that he is expected to be out a maximum of three weeks, which might mean he’s back in time for some or most of the group stage. It’s possible they’re being a little optimistic, although he’s going to do everything possible.
Egypt Betting Prediction
The best-case scenario for Egypt is that they could get out of the group stage. And again, that is with Salah, although they might be able to hold on until the final game. The key will be their contests with Russia and Uruguay. If they can manage draws, then beat up on Saudi Arabia, they could have a shot to advance.
+17400 to win the World Cup is about right for Egypt, who won’t win it. Depending on Salah’s injury, however, they might be a decent bet to advance out of the group.
Salah is valued at +3800 to win the Golden Boot for scoring the most goals and +4900 to win the Golden Ball as best player. Had he been healthy, he might be a value longshot. As he is now, you’re better to avoid everything here.
The bottom line is no Salah means no hope for Egypt. Even with him, they’re a coin flip to advance past the group stage but they won’t hang around longer than that.