World Cup Watchlist #6: Salah shoulders the load

World Cup Watchlist #6: Salah shoulders the load

(WVUE) - With the 2018 World Cup on FOX 8 kicking off June 14th from Russia, we are previewing ten storylines that are worth keeping an eye on as the tournament goes on.

#6 - Salah Shoulders the Load

Egypt is in the World Cup for the first time in 28 years thanks to a player who has emerged as a global star in the last year, Mohamed Salah. Liverpool turned the former Roma winger into a scoring force as he tallied 43 goals in 47 games during the 2017/18 season.

Salah’s campaign ended on a sour note as he left the Champions League final after just a half hour due to a shoulder injury. The severity of the injury is unknown but Egypt included him in their 23-man squad and he posted to Instagram after the game “It was a very tough night, but I'm a fighter. Despite the odds, I'm confident that I'll be in Russia to make you all proud. Your love and support will give me the strength I need.”

His goal scoring put him in the conversation for the Ballon d’Or, awarded annually to the top player in the game, which has been won by either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo each of the last ten years. While his club performance is what put him on the map this season, it’s his 94th minute penalty kick against Congo that clinched his country’s first World Cup since 1990.
2018 is just Egypt’s third World Cup appearance and they have never won a game. If Salah is healthy, there is a good chance of getting that victory and of advancing to the knockout stage. While the Egyptians are ranked 46th in the latest FIFA world rankings, they are paired with Russia (66th) and Saudi Arabia (67th) as well as heavily-favored Uruguay (17th).

FOX 8 will broadcast 38 games from Russia, from first kick to final trophy presentation. The first five games on FOX 8 are:

Thursday, June 14th at 10 AM – Russia vs Saudi Arabia

Friday, June 15th at 10 AM – Morocco vs Iran

Friday, June 15th at 1 PM – Portugal vs Spain

Saturday, June 16th at 10 AM – Argentina vs Iceland

Sunday, June 17th at 7 AM – Costa Rica vs Serbia

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