Mohamed Salah has brought Egypt back to the World Cup for the first time since 1990, and although the Pharaohs aren’t a one-man team, the Liverpool winger played a huge part in taking them to Russia.
Salah scored in four of the six games in the final round of qualifying, including a double against Congo to take his country to just their third World Cup.
Of course, there are question marks over how fit Salah will be for the finals, after suffering a sprained shoulder in the Champions League final loss to Real Madrid. Fortunately for you, you won’t have to deal with an injured Salah on the World Cup update for FIFA 18. RealSport gives you all you need to know when setting up with Egypt for the tournament.
Egypt receive a four star rating on the World Cup update. This is made of a 75 attack, 77 midfield and 72 defence.
Egypt’s potential World Cup fixtures
Round of 16
Brazil or Belgium
Argentina or Germany
Being a smaller nation, Egypt were never going to get an easy World Cup draw but being put into Group A with hosts Russia is perhaps the best they could have asked for. No one in the group will be regarded as serious contenders for World Cup glory, and all three of the group ties for Egypt are winnable. If you pick up a point from the opening game against Uruguay, you should at least be able to hold on to second place in the group.
Spain and Portugal will battle it out for top spot in Group B, and if you do meet the Spanish in the Round of 16, your World Cup is likely to be over. The fixtures will not get any easier with France, Belgium and Germany the probable opponents, so you must defend deep and utilise Salah’s pace on the counter-attack to hurt the opposition.
Egypt manager Hector Cuper has opted for a 4-2-3-1 wide formation, and you should do the same on FIFA 18.
The 45-year-old Essam El Hadary is in goal, with the back four comprising Ahmed Elmohamady, Ramy Rabia, defensive rock Ahmed Hegazi (84 aggression) and Mohamed Abdel Shafy.
Lynchpin Mohamed Elneny (92 stamina) partners Tarek Hamed in defensive midfield as danger man (88 finishing) Mohamed Salah, Trezeguet and Kahraba float behind Hossam Hassan in attack.
On the bench go for Sherif Ekramy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Fathi, Sam Morsy, Ramadan Sobhi, Abdallah El Said and Ahmed Gomaa.
It may seem simple, but you need to hit Mohamed Salah. You should be looking to get the Ballon d’Or contender on the ball as much as possible, and not only that, get him close to the goal. To ensure this, head to the instructions tab, and on defensive support select 'stay forward'. Chance creation should be put to ‘cut inside’ and support runs to ‘get in behind’ to make the most of his pace (93 sprint speed). Lastly, support on crosses should be changed to ‘get into box for cross’ and positioning freedom should be ‘free roam’.
Someone will need to supply Salah, and that is likely to be defensive midfielder Mohamed Elneny. The Arsenal man is comfortable on the ball and has a strong passing ability (84 long passing).
With pace out wide in the form of Salah and Kahraba (87 spring speed), you should be looking to sit deep and then hit your opponents on the counter-attack. Against stronger opposition, Uruguay in the group stage and Spain in the Round of 16, you can afford to slip into a defensive mentality to suck the opposition in.
The Pharaohs return
Despite it being Egypt’s third appearance at a World Cup, expectations are high. Egypt are the most successful of all the countries in the African Cup of Nations with seven wins, but they have always struggled to compete, or even qualify, at the World Cup. If you want a challenge on the game, Egypt are a great option, and with Salah in the team you have a weapon that can damage any defence. How far can you take the Pharaohs in Russia?
Egypt squad player ratings
|Sherif Ekramy||34||GK||Al Ahly||71|
|Ahmed Hegazi||27||CB||West Brom||78|
|Ramy Rabia||25||CB||Al Ahly||75|
|Ahmed Elmohamady||30||RB RM||Aston Villa||74|
|Mohamed Abdel Shafy||32||LB||Al-Ahli||74|
|Ali Gabr||29||CB||West Brom||74|
|Ahmed Fathi||33||RB CDM||Al Ahly||74|
|Saad Samir||29||CB||Al Ahly||72|
|Omar Gaber||26||RB LB||LAFC||71|
|Amro Tarek||26||CB LB||Orlando City||70|
|Walid Soliman||33||LM RM||Al Ahly||73|
|Amr Warda||24||RM LM CAM||Atromitos||71|
|Mahmoud Abdel Aziz||27||CDM||Zamalek||70|
|Moamen Zakaria||30||RM||Al Ahly||70|
|Ayman Ashraf||27||LM CAM||Al Ahly||68|
|Hossam Ashour||32||CDM||Al Ahly||68|
|Mohamed Fathi||24||RM CAM LM||Ismaily||67|
|Ahmed Gomaa||30||ST||Al Masry||73|
|Marwan Mohsen||29||ST||Al Ahly||72|
|Amr Gamal||26||ST||HJK Helsinki||70|
|Amr Marei||26||ST||Etoile du Sahel||67|