So Can Salah Now Become a Modern Day Great?

He could prove to be the signing of the season.

Not the club record £60 million that Manchester City have parted with to sign Riyad Mahrez—six months after they first wanted him.

Nor the £99.2 million Juventus have splashed to acquire Cristiano Ronaldo, the world number one even if he does turn 34 next birthday.

I am talking about the double Premier League footballer of the year, the king of Egypt Mohamed Salah, who has signed a new contract at Liverpool after his majestic first year there.

It was a campaign which saw him become the first African player to win the honour and incredibly become the first player to score 32 goals in a 38-match Premier League season.

The Premier League betting odds on him now leading Liverpool to their holy grail—a first league title since 1990—are high.

Indeed, many pundits have placed the Merseysiders as second favourites for the Premier League behind last season’s dominant force, Manchester City, who set numerous records on the way to the title.

He clearly was not fit for Egypt in the World Cup, understandably so given his club season ended in heartache with a shoulder injury in the Champions League Final.

Mohamed Salah ready to prove the Premier League betting odds that he's back to help Liverpool

Mohamed Salah leaves the pitch during the Champions League final match between Liverpool and Real Madrid

However, all football highlights will certainly feature Salah prominently in a month’s time when the new season begins in earnest.

No wonder after he was so instrumental in Liverpool’s run to the showpiece final and fourth place in the Premier League with a prolific scoring record which attracted the attention of Europe’s elite.

Yet, after such a stellar season when he won every individual accolade that put even the sensational Kevin de Bruyne in the shade, there is now a weight of expectation on Mo Salah and Liverpool.

Harry Kane has already challenged Salah to repeat his exploits after the England captain was pipped to the Premier League golden boot honour.

Thirty goals in a 38-game league campaign was Kane’s best ever return, though still not enough to earn the top-scorer prize for the third year in a row after tallies of 25 and 29 in the previous seasons.

There is certainly no suggestion Salah will be a one-season wonder, nor that he will leave Liverpool.

The club is in a position of strength in three ways.

First of all, Salah admits he loves the club and wants to win silverware by staying where he is, not by moving to another heavyweight club.

His commitment to the club will be music to the ears of all Liverpool fans, their manager Jurgen Klopp and teammates.

Secondly, Liverpool do not need to sell the player after their massive January windfall following the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

Yes, they have recruited Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keita and Fabinho since then and more recruits are expected. However, money does not seem to be an issue for a club which is back in the Champions League next season.

Thirdly, Salah’s new five-year deal does not include a release clause which so many players and agents now insist upon.

Any potential suitor would have to pay an extortionate fee for the Egyptian who forms part of a potent attacking trio.

Roberto Firmino also signed a contract extension in April and Sadio Mane is tipped to follow suit.

Klopp, who insists world-class talent “has a place” at Anfield, perhaps best sums up the approach to the game—an attribute money can’t buy—when he says: “The key thing to remember is the best thing about Mo is that he never sees himself as being more important than the team or anyone else within it.”

“He recognises his teammates and this club helped him achieve individual success last season. He sees the individual awards come because he is part of something bigger that is special.”

“Mo reflects where we are as a team, I think. Last season was special with many special moments—but we want more. We want to be more successful and achieve more together – as the supporters sang so loudly, ‘we’re never gonna stop’. This has to be the attitude individually and collectively.”

So can he repeat or come close to repeating his success or will he find Premier League life more difficult now he is less of an unknown quantity?

From August 11 onwards, we will find out.

One thing is certain.

Moments of exhilarating brilliance that he displayed last season cannot be sustained over nine months unless you have world-class attributes.

Now they have been proven, can he take the next step and join the pantheon of modern day greats by doing it again and again and, crucially, winning silverware?

 

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Premier League News: Transfer Summer Continues to Heat Up

The World Cup may have taken the attention of the football world, but that doesn’t stop Premier League teams from wheeling and dealing this offseason.

With the new campaign a little over a month away, transfer negotiations continue to heat up in the English top flight. Most clubs have already made significant signings and acquisitions this summer, while there are teams that are closing in on their top targets despite failing to make a splash in the opening of the transfer window.

Today, we take a look at the latest Premier League news and rumours and determine who are the biggest winners and losers of the recent transfers.

Notable Transfers and Signings

One of the biggest moves of the summer isn’t a transfer, but it sure has big implications in the Premier League.

Earlier this month, Liverpool made a statement and basically told their opponents that they are here to compete when they signed Mohamed Salah to a new long-term contract. According to reports, the Egyptian King signed a lucrative deal without a release clause to stay at Anfield until 2023.

Salah scored 44 goals in 52 appearances for the Reds last season and is undoubtedly Liverpool’s most prized asset.

Meanwhile, in terms of transfers, West Ham are making huge waves with their acquisitions. After bringing in Poland keeper Lukasz Fabianski last month, the Hammers are now set to complete a move for former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.

Premier League news: Former Arsenal's Jack Wilshere close to seal a deal with West Ham United

Jack Wilshere in action against Marcos Alonso during Arsenal’s League Cup first leg match against Chelsea in January

Wilshere is a free agent after leaving Arsenal and is reportedly on his way to London Stadium having undergone a medical. According to the latest updates, the 26-year-old midfielder is close to signing a three-year deal with the club after productive discussions with West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini.

Talking about Arsenal, new manager Unai Emery is slowly filling up spots following an exodus of players. After getting Swiss international Stephan Lichtsteiner (formerly of Juventus) as a free agent and Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen, the Gunners have agreed to a deal to bring veteran defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos to the Emirates from Borussia Dortmund.

Papastathopoulos, nonetheless, isn’t the only Bundesliga player taking his talents to the Premier League. Highly-rated RB Leipzig defender Bernardo is moving to the English top flight as well after a successful capture from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Elsewhere, Newcastle United sign South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, fresh from captaining the Korea Republic national team in the World Cup. Meanwhile, Watford officially signed former Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu on a permanent deal.

Deulofeu spent the second half of the 2017-18 campaign on loan at Vicarage Road after failing to find his stride in the Barcelona rotation.

Who’s Next?

There are still plenty of big-name stars out there that could find new homes in the coming days. Brazil keeper Alisson, for one, is said to have “agreed terms” to sign for Chelsea.

Alisson started in all of the Selecao’s World Cup matches and conceded just three goals, though the last two against Belgium led to their quarter-final exit in the tournament.

Interestingly, Alisson is tipped to replace Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge, with the current Blues No.1 keen to return to Spain.

On the other hand, after bringing in Naby Keita and Fabinho, Liverpool are said to be considering a bid for Juventus’ Paulo Dybala amid reports that the Bianconeri are positioned to acquire Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Manchester United, meanwhile, have allegedly prepared a €40 million bid for PSV striker Hirving Lozano.

Chucky, who played hero in Mexico’s opening World Cup victory over Germany, has attracted a wealth of interest after his solid performance in the World Cup. Arsenal have also been linked with the 22-year-old attacker.

Xherdan Shaqiri is also an interesting name that continues to float around. Both Liverpool and United are eager to secure the services of the Swiss winger, but they might have to give up a player as relegated Stoke City are considering a loan signing as part of the deal.

On other news, Dimitri Payet could make a shock return to West Ham after leaving the club two years ago, while newly promoted Fulham F.C. joined Chelsea and Arsenal in the race to sign Jean Michael Seri from Nice.

Perhaps the biggest name to watch this transfer window is Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. The Italian’s future with the club is still in limbo and rumours that he could be sacked soon intensified after sources confirm that the club is leaning on appointing former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri.

Premier League news: Former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri close to manage Chelsea in the upcoming season

Maurizio Sarri instructs Napoli players during a Champions League match with Shakhtar Donetsk in September 2017

Winners and Losers

Well, there’s no doubt that the biggest winners here are the EPL fans considering the arrival of quality talents from other leagues.

Sure enough, a move that will alter the Premier League betting odds is yet to be done, but there’s no doubt it has been a great transfer week for the league.

Liverpool and EPL win big by keeping one of their brightest stars in Salah, while West Ham continue to hoard talent that could pay off huge dividends.

Wilshere is a risky signing given his injury history, but he could be a valuable addition to a West Ham team in dire need of playmaking.

Chelsea, perhaps, are the biggest losers as they are yet to make a major signing, unlike their Top 4 rivals. Not to mention that the uncertainty over their manager keeps things difficult for them in making significant acquisitions.

 

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Klopp: Salah deal a major message

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp believes his club have sent out a huge message about their future prospects by handing a new, long-term deal to Mohamed Salah.

The 26-year-old, who has recently been in action at World Cup 2018 with Egypt, enjoyed a spectacular first season at Anfield, scoring 44 goals in all competitions to help the Reds reach the Champions League final and finish in fourth place in the Premier League.

And Klopp is more than happy that a fresh five-year contract has been agreed and signed off, with Salah a crucial figure in the German's plans to build on the success of last season.

He told the club's official website: "I think this news can be seen for what it is – rewarding a person who performed and contributed greatly for the team and the club last season.

"It demonstrates two things very clearly also – his belief in Liverpool and our belief in him.

"We want world-class talent to see they have a home at Anfield where they can fulfil all their professional dreams and ambitions – we are working hard together to achieve this.

"When someone like Mo Salah commits and says this place is my home now, it speaks very loudly I think.

"Equally, our commitment to him says we see his value and want him to grow even more and get even better within our environment."

Despite suffering a shoulder injury in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, Salah was on the scoresheet in both of the games he featured in for Egypt at World Cup 2018, but his side were unable to progress out of the group stage.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are 5/1 to win the Premier League title next season, with Manchester United 7/1 and Manchester City 4/7.

View all Soccer betting

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt: A Fight for a Consoling Victory

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt

This is probably not the way the two countries facing each other in the final match of the 2018 World Cup group stages. Both had a chance to make it to the knockout stages in what was deemed the “Group of Life” by some pundits, including our knowledgeable pool of football experts here at us.

However, it seems that Saudi Arabia vs Egypt was meant to become a farewell match for the two countries. It does not matter if you think both of these nations were robbed in their previous fixtures in the competition because that’s just the way football goes.

The Green Falcons will be hoping to score their first goal in this year’s edition of the World Cup as well as send their fans home with a smile. The Pharaohs, meanwhile, will be hoping that their fans will also be smiling bittersweet grins as they prepare to leave Russia.

Volgograd will be a witness to an outstanding battle between two World Cup teams that played fantastic football for the entire world!

Talking Points

Saudi Arabia started Russia 2018 on the wrong foot as they fell terribly to an overperforming Russia squad in front of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The simple fact that they weren’t able to score even once against the hosts probably brought the progressive and controversial Crown Prince to tears.

Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men recovered and played much better football against Uruguay, but Luis Suarez’s poach on the 23rd minute of the game meant that they were booted out of the World Cup. Many of the fans who watched at Rostov will testify to the quality of football exhibited by these Green Falcons.

Egypt also suffered the same fate as their Middle Eastern opponents. They also played top-notch football against the South American giants that featured Suarez and Edinson Cavani. However, they robbed of a point by a late header from Jose Gimenez that sent an entire nation to ecstasy and left another in despair.

Things didn’t get any better for the Pharaohs when they played the red-hot hosts for the second game. The Russians didn’t lose their scoring boots and overwhelmed them. While talisman Mohamed Salah finally made his World Cup debut, his efforts mattered little as the Russians also doomed them to an early exit out of Russia.

While these two nations have fallen out of the World Cup race, it wasn’t like they played terrible football. In fact, I have a new-found respect for these minnows in the global stage, and this is especially true for Saudi Arabia.

Many a pundit (yours truly included) only expected the Saudis to make an appearance in the World Cup and quietly bow out into the night. However, the Green Falcons showcased a relentless style of football that made Uruguay, the supposed favourites to come out on top, struggle for goals. They deserve every bit of praise that is coming their way.

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt: Mohamed Salah hopes to end his World Cup 2018 on a good note by winning over KSA

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah joggles the ball before the nation’s World Cup 2018 match against Uruguay

However, their upcoming task of guarding Salah does not get any easier. After brushing off rumours of him leaving the Egypt squad early, everyone and their mothers can be sure that he will be raring to score goal after goal for the Pharaohs.

If they manage to contain Salah and limit Egypt to taking long shots from way out, there is a chance for Saudi Arabia to run away with the last three points in Group A.

History

Saudi Arabia and Egypt have met six times on the international football scene, with Egypt winning four of those engagements. The biggest win the Pharaohs got from their neighbours was their first: a 13-0 win by Egypt during the 1961 Pan-Arab Games. Saudi’s only win against Egypt was a 5-1 triumph during the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup.

In terms of recent form, Saudi Arabia are definitely trying currently on a five-game losing streak. They have only scored two goals in that stretch while their opponents dumped 13 goals through their defence. Pizzi needs to prioritise defence among his lads if he wants Saudi to win.

Egypt also had a poor run of form in their last five games. They drew against Kuwait and Egypt before losing 3-0 to Belgium in their last game. While it must be noted that Salah was only able to play during their latest game, the inability of Hector Cuper’s men to find goals is nothing short of unacceptable.

What are the odds?

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt: KSA players aim to leave Russia with a win by beating Egypt in their World Cup finale game

Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Alburayk looks frustrated after missing a free kick during their World Cup 2018 game against Uruguay

There are interesting Saudi Arabia vs Egypt odds available for the ever-ready punter.

There is a high possibility that the two countries will split the honours, and a Draw is at 3.25. Egypt have 1.88 while Saudi Arabia are at 4.50.

The Asian Handicap market also tilts in Egypt’s favour. The Pharaohs have 2.19 for a -0.75 handicap, while the Green Falcons have 2.06 for a +0.50 goal boost.

I don’t we will see much goals here, making Under 2.25 goals at 2.08 a very attractive option. However, there is always the possibility of a Salah hat-trick, so Over 2.75 goals is at 2.47.

For more Saudi Arabia vs Egypt updates, us predictions and other World Cup news, don’t forget to check us Blog.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Player Spotlight: Durant’s Honours, Lanzini’s Injury, Salah’s Emotions

Today’s dose of daily sporting news bears a mixed bag of news. The footballing world is experiencing a sudden surge of injured players on the lead-up to the World Cup. However, us Blog decides to focus on a great victory for one NBA player.

Kevin Durant is now a back-to-back NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors. His dominant performance over the Cleveland Cavaliers, specifically his Game 3 dagger, is stuff the Dubs faithful will be talking about for years to come.

Moreover, his second ring only gets better with another great prize given his way.

Durant gets back-to-back MVP honours in sublime performance

NBA Highlights: Kevin Durant wins second straight finals MVP award

Kevin Durant wins his second consecutive NBA Finals MVP award

Kevin Durant has faced a lot of hate and questions about his move to the Golden State Warriors. Some call him out for taking the easy way out. Others call him a snake for leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for a sure way to win with the Dubs.

All the talk have persisted and followed Durant for a good chunk of his time with the Warriors. The rumours didn’t disappear when he won his first title and Finals MVP title with the Bay Area team.

However, things may have changed after the Warriors won the 2018 NBA Final. They have become the first back-to-back championship team since the 2012-2013 Miami Heat, led by now-Cleveland Cavalier star LeBron James.

He is also named back-to-back NBA MVP, becoming the 11th player in NBA history to achieve the feat. The other players who have achieved this include James, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Hakeem Olajuwon and Larry Bird.

Durant was quick to share the credit to his team-mates when it came to the victory.

“It’s just about the journey, all season,” Durant said. “Getting up every day, going to work with these guys, it’s amazing. The environment is incredible. It’s good for you to be around guys like this. It helps you become a better basketball player and a better man.”

Durant wants to play for the Dubs in the coming years and believes that contract issues will be minute compared to his desire to pepper NBA results pages with the Golden State Warriors winning it all.

Lanzini out of the World Cup due to injury

Manuel Lanzini has ruptured his ACL and has been ruled out of the World Cup 2018

Manuel Lanzini ruled out of the World Cup after suffering a ruptured anterior knee ligament injury in training

There have been a couple of key injuries that have hit multiple nations competing in the World Cup. The latest victim of the injury bug is Argentina as they are set to play without Manuel Lanzini.

The West Ham midfielder ruptured his anterior knee ligament during training, making it impossible for him to properly compete in Russia during the World Cup.

The 25-year-old has impressed in West Ham’s bid for Premier League survival last season, scoring five goals that helped the Hammers stay up. Lanzini started in Argentina’s 4-0 win over Haiti last week.

Jorge Sampaoli still has plenty of midfield options ready to replace the injured West Ham man. Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Angel Di Maria, Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Pavon, Eduardo Salvio and Maximiliano Meza are among the other players he can count on.

However, having Lanzini join Manchester United keeper Sergio Romero in the injured list hurts Lionel Messi’s chances of winning the World Cup. The knockout stages will be full of tough competition, and Lanzini’s strengths in the midfield would have made things easier for the Albiceleste.

Salah fires back at Ramos, opens up about Champions League injury

Soccer updates: Salah responds to Ramos's comments on his injury

Mohamed Salah opens up about his heartbreak in Kiev

Sergio Ramos has made his piece about what happened during that controversial Champions League final. He believes that Liverpool star and Egypt talisman Mohamed Salah would have made a quick return if he “injected” himself.

Hector Cuper has already had his say about the Spain defender while Salah remained silent. In a recent interview, Salah shared his thoughts about the Real Madrid centre-back’s words.

“It’s funny,” he said about his claim that he injured the other arm instead of the one that was wrapped around Ramos during the final.

“My comment is that it’s always okay when the one who made you cry first, then makes you laugh,” he continued, hitting back at his injection comments. “Maybe he could also tell me if I’m going to be ready for the World Cup?”

He then shared his thought process as he was walking away from the pitch: “When I fell to the ground, I had a mixture of physical pain and a lot of worry. Also anger and sadness for not being able to continue playing the Champions League final. Moments later, I also thought about the possibility of not playing in the World Cup and that was a devastating thought.”

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Fresh Off the Press: Delusional Ramos, Cold Curry, Griezmann to Barca?

Knowledge is power, and what you know can win you big in betting! In order to thrive in the coming weeks of spectacular betting, it pays to know your sporting news. And today’s share of us news will definitely make your future betting decisions a lot more interesting!

Sergio Ramos is in the middle of a media firestorm in today’s sporting highlights! He is already embroiled in a battle with two nations way before any football has been kicked in the FIFA World Cup! It’s not hard to imagine that the barbs being thrown through the media will affect the form of the parties involved when the big games start next week.

Of course, the pre-World Cup tension isn’t the only thing us Blog is serving up! We’ve got some interesting NBA news to share with you now that the Golden State Warriors are a win away from sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Antoine Griezmann may also make an interesting destination change once Russia draws to a close! Will he leave Madrid for Catalonia?

Rude Ramos draws ire for Salah, Karius comments

us Blog: Did Sergio Ramos cross the line for comments on injured Liverpool players?

Egypt coach Hector Cuper reacts to Sergio Ramos’ ‘rude comments’ on injured Liverpool players

There’s no question that Real Madrid and Spain is drawing flak from at least two legions of supporters after the uncalled-for physicality he implemented in the Champions League final against Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Loris Karius.

However, he has come out and said that Egypt’s talisman could have returned to the match “if he got an injection for the second half”. He also denied that the collision he had with the disgraced German keeper was not intentional.

“I see the play well, he grabs my arm first and I fell to the other side, the injury happened to the other arm and they said that I gave him a judo hold,” the Real Madrid strongman convinced the press. “After that the goalkeeper said I dazed him with a clash.

“I don’t know if it is because you are at Madrid for so long and win for so long that people look at it a different way.”

Egypt boss Hector Cuper called him out on his judgment, saying that Salah is the type of player who will return from an injury if he can play through it.

“I don’t have any doubt that if he could keep playing he would do it, because a Champions League final is extraordinary.

“My opinion is that Salah has an important injury, there is a recovering [process] that we can see, and we are optimistic about the chances he has to play in the World Cup.

Brazil international and Liverpool team-mate Roberto Firmino had choice words for the Madrid man: “It’s OK, [Ramos] is a champion. But I think it’s an idiot thing of him to say.”

Curry struggles after playing historic Game 2

NBA News: Stephen Curry wasn't even a shadow of his Game 2 self in Game 3

Stephen Curry surpassed Ray Allen in NBA Finals 3 points made and duplicated his next game struggle, too.

The Bay got served up with some red-hot Stephen Curry after the Golden State guard played a historic night of basketball in Game 2 of their yearly NBA Finals date with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He delighted the Bay Area with his nine three-pointers, with five of them scored in the final frame of the game. He now holds the record for most three-point field goals in an NBA Finals game, with the previous holder being Ray Allen.

However, his shooting hand seemed to have frozen during the travel time from sunny California to Cleveland, OH. No 30 had a nightmare game, going 1-for-10 from long range and 3-for-16 overall. He wasn’t able to find his rhythm against the Cavaliers.

Thankfully, Kevin Durant was an unstoppable scoring machine and led the Dubs to a commanding 3-0 lead that seems impossible to get out of. It’s also important to note that Allen also went cold after setting the then Finals three-point record.

After all, it’d be unfair if they still had hot hands after that.

Blaugrana love Griezmann to Barca!

us Blog: Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona? Messi and co want him

Barcelona players make it known how they like to play alongside Antoine Griezmann

Barcelona just won the La Liga this season, but the club is not delusional that they are the best in Europe. Their disappointing Champions League run demands change from the club, and the response to the call may seem surprising: Antoine Griezmann.

Barcelona are looking to acquire the 27-year-old France international from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid and are willing to pay the huge €100 million price tag attached to his net. Lionel Messi is understood to have expressed his support for the decision, and it is expected that the rest of the club will be pushing for this deal to push through as well.

“He’s a great player and we would understand each other,” Messi told Mundo Deportivo about the possibility of playing with him.

“He’s going through an exceptional moment in his career. It’s not yet one hundred per cent, but the more quality we have, the better.”

Fellow France international Ousmane Dembele also thinks that the move for his World Cup team-mate is “exceptional”.

“We haven’t talked much about this [transfer] with Antoine,” Dembele said. “If Antoine comes to Barca, it would be something exceptional.

“He’s a great player, a great striker, I think he’ll help us be better.”

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Can Egypt Really Win Without Super Mo’s Magic?

Belgium vs Egypt

Two more teams have one last chance for fine-tuning before the World Cup when Egypt meets Belgium at the King Baudouin Stadium on Wednesday.

It’s an opportunity for Roberto Martinez and Hector Cuper to size up their squads and make their final choices before the big day arrives. But Cuper must do it without his injured star man Mo Salah, and that’s a tough ask against their hosts in Brussels.

FIFA 2018 doesn’t have many better sides, on paper, than Belgium but here at us the Cup winner odds have Roberto Martinez’ Red Devils at 11.50, showing that they haven’t always been quite as good on grass in recent tournaments.

Talking Points

There were initial fears in the Egypt camp that Mo Salah would miss the whole of World Cup 2018 following his horror injury in the Champions League final. That was a devastating blow for Liverpool, but looked like signalling the end of Egypt’s best chance of progressing from Group A.

The crude challenge by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramas left Salah with an injured shoulder, but the Premier League’s top striker hopes to be fit for at least two of the group games. He’s expected to be out for three weeks and that means he could be fit to play Russia in the crucial clash.

The Pharaohs have a tough opening against Uruguay, and had a chance to test themselves, without Mo, against Columbia last week but drew a blank in a scoreless draw and rarely looked like threatening in attack, managing just a single shot on target in the 90 minutes.

But Egypt won their qualifying group in Africa and aren’t a one man team. Mahmoud Trezeguet has impressed this season in Turkey for Kasimpasa and says the Pharaohs need fear no-one. He is being monitored by Galatasaray and Everton and could be one for us to watch. Premier League fans will know the potential of Arsenal midfielder Mohammed Elneny, while Abdallah El Said still has plenty to offer, and Huddersfield target Ramadan Sobhi has the guile to worry any defence when he’s on his game.

But, undeniably, the World Cup 2018 odds on Egypt are very much Salah dependant.

Belgium also played out a goalless draw in their last warm-up game against rivals Portugal. It was a cagey affair, but in The Red Devil’s previous match they thumped Saudi Arabia 4-0, with Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku grabbing a brace. United’s front man hasn’t always impressed this season, but has scored 33 in 66 internationals. In that game Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne was in ominous form, setting two up before netting himself.

There’s good news for Belgium fans as De Bruyne’s club team-mate Vincent Kompany has been named in Belgium’s squad, despite limping off with a groin injury in the weekend clash with Portugal.

That result means Martinez has taken his team on a 17 match unbeaten run since losing to Spain over a year ago, and his men will go into the World Cup with plenty of belief. Though a tough test in the shape of England awaits them in Russia, and an unconvincing performance against Egypt could start the big tournament jitters.

History

Well, if we’re going to rely on history to work out this game it’s going to be an easy Egypt win! In the only previous meeting the Africans won 4-0 with a second half blitz. But that was in 2005, and while Egypt didn’t have Salah then either, the Red Devils were without the likes of De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois.

So let’s take a look at the form instead.

Belgium’s 17 match unbeaten run looks unlikely to be tested, as Egypt have lost four of their last six away from home, drawing the other two and last won, in 2017, against Congo. The Red Devils are realistic bets for, at least, a semi-final final place while Egypt will do well to escape their group.

Can Belgium and Egypt disappoint football predictions and go far in Russia 2018?

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and his Egypt counterpart Hector Cuper

What are the Odds?

Given the home advantage, but more so the quality in Martinez’ squad and the absence of Salah, it’s no surprise that the hosts are at 1.92 to win, with a -1.50 handicap, with Egypt coming in at 2.00 with that +1.50 start.

Belgium failed to break down the Portuguese defence, and if you think Egypt could keep them at bay for 45 minutes then you can get 3.45 on a draw at half time/Belgium win at full time.

Over 2.75 goals is at 2.06 with under at 1.84, and that makes sense after the two weekend goalless draws. And 2-0 is the most likely result at 5.00 with 3-0 at 7.20.

On to the World Cup, if Lukaku can improve on his one in two ratio and the Red Devils get to the last four then, at 18.00 to finish as the World Cup top scorer the Manchester United star would be worth a look

Egypt are at 2.10 to qualify from Group A and, of course, Salah could be back for the big game against Russia.

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Can Egypt Really Win Without Super Mo’s Magic?

Belgium vs Egypt

Two more teams have one last chance for fine-tuning before the World Cup when Egypt meets Belgium at the King Baudouin Stadium on Wednesday.

It’s an opportunity for Roberto Martinez and Hector Cuper to size up their squads and make their final choices before the big day arrives. But Cuper must do it without his injured star man Mo Salah, and that’s a tough ask against their hosts in Brussels.

FIFA 2018 doesn’t have many better sides, on paper, than Belgium but here at us the Cup winner odds have Roberto Martinez’ Red Devils at 11.50, showing that they haven’t always been quite as good on grass in recent tournaments.

Talking Points

There were initial fears in the Egypt camp that Mo Salah would miss the whole of World Cup 2018 following his horror injury in the Champions League final. That was a devastating blow for Liverpool, but looked like signalling the end of Egypt’s best chance of progressing from Group A.

The crude challenge by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramas left Salah with an injured shoulder, but the Premier League’s top striker hopes to be fit for at least two of the group games. He’s expected to be out for three weeks and that means he could be fit to play Russia in the crucial clash.

The Pharaohs have a tough opening against Uruguay, and had a chance to test themselves, without Mo, against Columbia last week but drew a blank in a scoreless draw and rarely looked like threatening in attack, managing just a single shot on target in the 90 minutes.

But Egypt won their qualifying group in Africa and aren’t a one man team. Mahmoud Trezeguet has impressed this season in Turkey for Kasimpasa and says the Pharaohs need fear no-one. He is being monitored by Galatasaray and Everton and could be one for us to watch. Premier League fans will know the potential of Arsenal midfielder Mohammed Elneny, while Abdallah El Said still has plenty to offer, and Huddersfield target Ramadan Sobhi has the guile to worry any defence when he’s on his game.

But, undeniably, the World Cup 2018 odds on Egypt are very much Salah dependant.

Belgium also played out a goalless draw in their last warm-up game against rivals Portugal. It was a cagey affair, but in The Red Devil’s previous match they thumped Saudi Arabia 4-0, with Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku grabbing a brace. United’s front man hasn’t always impressed this season, but has scored 33 in 66 internationals. In that game Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne was in ominous form, setting two up before netting himself.

There’s good news for Belgium fans as De Bruyne’s club team-mate Vincent Kompany has been named in Belgium’s squad, despite limping off with a groin injury in the weekend clash with Portugal.

That result means Martinez has taken his team on a 17 match unbeaten run since losing to Spain over a year ago, and his men will go into the World Cup with plenty of belief. Though a tough test in the shape of England awaits them in Russia, and an unconvincing performance against Egypt could start the big tournament jitters.

History

Well, if we’re going to rely on history to work out this game it’s going to be an easy Egypt win! In the only previous meeting the Africans won 4-0 with a second half blitz. But that was in 2005, and while Egypt didn’t have Salah then either, the Red Devils were without the likes of De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois.

So let’s take a look at the form instead.

Belgium’s 17 match unbeaten run looks unlikely to be tested, as Egypt have lost four of their last six away from home, drawing the other two and last won, in 2017, against Congo. The Red Devils are realistic bets for, at least, a semi-final final place while Egypt will do well to escape their group.

Can Belgium and Egypt disappoint football predictions and go far in Russia 2018?

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and his Egypt counterpart Hector Cuper

What are the Odds?

Given the home advantage, but more so the quality in Martinez’ squad and the absence of Salah, it’s no surprise that the hosts are at 1.92 to win, with a -1.50 handicap, with Egypt coming in at 2.00 with that +1.50 start.

Belgium failed to break down the Portuguese defence, and if you think Egypt could keep them at bay for 45 minutes then you can get 3.45 on a draw at half time/Belgium win at full time.

Over 2.75 goals is at 2.06 with under at 1.84, and that makes sense after the two weekend goalless draws. And 2-0 is the most likely result at 5.00 with 3-0 at 7.20.

On to the World Cup, if Lukaku can improve on his one in two ratio and the Red Devils get to the last four then, at 18.00 to finish as the World Cup top scorer the Manchester United star would be worth a look

Egypt are at 2.10 to qualify from Group A and, of course, Salah could be back for the big game against Russia.

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La Tricolor vs Pharaohs: A Big Friendly You Shouldn’t Miss

Egypt vs Colombia

The picturesque city of Bergamo, Italy is the perfect backdrop for a football match as exotic as this.

Indeed, this is just the match that would make a beautiful city northeast of Milan bloom further as the hot summer sun comes. While the real summer football will happen in Russia, this friendly is definitely one to catch. It will be worth to check the international friendly betting tips at sites like us for this match has the potential to be a cracker!

Of course, we are under no illusion that Egypt will struggle against Los Cafeteros without their Liverpool talisman, but that doesn’t mean that Colombia will get a free win from this friendly. Egypt dominated their qualification group and should still pose a problem to any club in the World Cup. This is a great opportunity for Hector Cuper’s team to make a statement to their Group A opponents.

Talking Points

The biggest topic ahead of this match is Mohamed Salah’s absence. Egypt and Liverpool fans are understandably livid towards Real Madrid and Spain defender Sergio Ramos tried a WWE move on their talisman during the Champions League final. Salah will not be playing in this important tune-up to fight a tense battle with his shoulder injury.

Many international friendly betting tips back Egyptian talisman Mohamed Salah to be fully fit in time for the World Cup

Mohamed Salah walks out of the pitch after injuring his shoulder during the Champions League Final

However, positive news reached Cuper’s side: the ace will be able to return and play in the Pharaoh’s World Cup campaign. Consultations with the national team doctor said that Salah will miss three weeks at the most. He has now reportedly gone to Spain in order to speed up the recovery process.

Someone else needs to step up in place of the injured Salah, and there are multiple options for the Pharaohs. Ahmed Hassan Mahgoub has played well for Braga in Portugal and could very well take Salah’s place up front. Meanwhile, Mohamed Elneny will be the midfield general while West Brom defender Ahmed Hegazi will try to hold down the back line against James Rodriguez.

Colombia have started training in Italy to slowly acclimate themselves in the northern hemisphere and the slightly colder weather in preparation for Russia. They are obvious favourites to win against the Salah-less Egypt, but AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca warned everyone against Egypt in a recent interaction with the press.

“We know that Egypt is a tough team, even right now as they’re going through a difficult phase without their main player Mohamed Salah,” Bacca said. He also wished for the Liverpool man’s quick recovery and a speedy return to the Pharaohs in time for the World Cup.

Colombia will just continue to focus on their preparations for a dangerous group stage. They have a great shot at making it past the group stages as long as James Rodriguez repeats his heroics in 2014. The Colombian has enjoyed a renaissance after a successful debut season with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, and he will most likely use his fine domestic form as a boost to get the nation past a tough group.

History

This is the first time these two nations will face in a competition of any form. Both Cuper and Colombia boss Jose Pekerman will be looking at their opponents’ performances in the qualifiers and their previous competitions in order to get an idea of their opponents’ style of play.

Africa had a tough time trying to contain Mohamed Salah’s Pharaohs. Be it the Africa Cup of Nations or the World Cup qualifiers, the continent rattled with every step Egypt took. They swept through the group stages of both the qualifiers and the African Cup of Nations. Egypt then made a strong run to the ACO final, only to be defeated by a daring Cameroon side.

While Egypt’s performances since the qualifier have been far from ideal (two draws and two defeats), they still have a powerful squad that can take it to the best of them. They will be especially dangerous when Salah makes his return.

Meanwhile, Colombia had a fairly decent run in South America. Colombia managed to make the last automatic qualification spot in a continent that is loaded with superb footballing talent. A draw with Peru on the last day of qualifiers ensured that their tickets up north are booked without any hitches.

Colombia are aiming to win their first FIFA World Cup title this year

James Rodriguez strikes the ball for Colombia during one of La Tricolor’s Copa America games

They also had a grand time when they made the trip to the United States for the Copa America. They were behind the hosts during the group stages due to goal difference, but they made it all the way to the tournament semi-final where they lost to Chile. They then beat the Americans to secure third.

What are the odds?

The bookies heavily favour the Cafeteros as Salah’s absence is just too heavy to ignore. It is highly likely that either James, Bacca or any of the Colombian attackers manage to break through the Egyptian defence on the first half, so betting on Colombia’s First Half 1X2 odds of 2.07 is a worthwhile investment.

However, it’s also possible that we will see the Pharaohs hunkering down and standing tall like their pyramids in front of a blistering Colombian attack. I don’t think Cuper will allow Colombia to score off them, so Egypt +1.00 @ 1.91 is also an intriguing prospect.

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The Great, the Good and the Ugly: Bale, Thompson and Salah

Sports is a bag of mixed emotions, and we got to see that firsthand as Gareth Bale, Klay Thompson and Mo Salah showed us the best and worst aspects of sports.

Bale, after struggling for playing time in Real Madrid, proved his worth with a Champions League performance for the ages. The same goes for Thompson—often the odd man out in Golden State—as he capped a memorable display for the Warriors with a piece of history.

Then there’s Mo Salah. After the Liverpool star suffered a serious injury in the UCL final, everybody thought that he’s out of the World Cup. However, the Egyptian FA provided some hope with an update on the 25-year-old’s shoulder injury.

Here are more details on the hottest sports news and updates today:

Superb Bale makes Champions League history

Gareth Bale makes it to the headlines of sports news following his impressive form that led to Real Madrid's UCL win

Gareth Bale proves his worth after hitting two impressive winning goals for Real Madrid in Champions League final against Liverpool

Gareth Bale is relevant once again.

After struggling with Real Madrid all season long, the Welshman stepped up for the team when it mattered most and showed his doubters that he still has much left in his tank.

Bale, who came off the bench in the Champions League final, played like a man that has a point to prove and scored a brace to power Real Madrid past Liverpool at Kiev. His overhead kick that put Real 2-1 up after 64 minutes was even described as one of the greatest goals in tournament history.

With his super-sub display, Bale made history as the first substitute to score a double in a Champions League final. He’s also the third British player to score in different European Cups/UCL finals and the first since Phil Neal did it with Liverpool in 1977 and 1984.

The win gave Real Madrid their record third straight trophy in the tournament. It is also Bale’s fourth with the team, making him the most decorated British player in the history of the competition.

Following his performance, Bale cast doubts about his future at the Santiago Bernabeu as he admitted that he was disappointed after not being selected as a starter in the match.

“I need to be playing week in week out, and that’s not happened this season for one reason or another. I had a five- or six-week injury at the start of the season and I’ve been fit ever since so now I have to sit down in the summer and discuss it with my agent and take it from there,” Bale said.

Egyptian FA ‘optimistic’ Salah will be fit for World Cup

Mohamed Salah shocks sports news industry following his early exit at Liverpool's UCL final against Real Madrid

Despite his tragic Champions League Final exit due to injury, Mohamed Salah remains certain to play for Egypt in World Cup 2018

There’s nothing to fear about Mohamed Salah’s latest injury, at least according to the Egyptian Football Association.

Salah suffered a shoulder injury after a dirty tackle from Sergio Ramos in Liverpool’s Champions League final match against Real Madrid.  Ramos dragged down Salah who eventually fell awkwardly on his shoulder.

The Liverpool striker left the pitch in tears and raised doubts that he could miss the upcoming World Cup with a suspected dislocated shoulder. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp even cited that it’s “a really serious injury” and that “it doesn’t look good.”

However, the Egyptian FA was quick to calm fans as they confirmed that Salah’s X-rays had shown ligament damage rather than a fracture.

“During the telephone follow-up conducted by the national team delegation in Italy to check on the status of Mohamed Salah, Liverpool officials said that X-rays were carried out on Salah’s shoulder and showed that the injury was a shock in the shoulder joints,” the Egyptian FA posted on Twitter.

“Dr. Mohammed Abulela [Egypt national team doctor] expressed his optimism that Salah can make the World Cup according to this diagnosis.”

The Pharaohs are expected to make it past Group A in the World Cup, and they will certainly hope or the best as Salah recovers from his untimely injury.

Thompson moves up in all-time postseason 3-point leaders

Klay Thompson graces sports news headlines after climbing in the NBA all-time three-point list

Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson sets another record following his superb form against Houston Rockets in Game 6

Klay Thompson continues his climb on the NBA all-time three-point list.

Just two days after surpassing Boston great Paul Piece for number eight in playoff three-pointers made, the other half of the Splash Bros. moved up once again and toppled Los Angeles Lakers icon Derek Fisher.

Thompson made nine treys en route to 35 points in Golden State’s 115-86 Game 6 blowout of the Houston Rockets. That allowed Thompson to increase his total postseason tally to 289 three-pointers, four ahead of Fisher.

Interestingly, his nine three-pointers tied the second-highest total in a single game NBA postseason history. More amazing is the fact that Thompson holds the playoff record for the most three-pointers in a game, hitting 11 treys against Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals.

Thompson has a chance to surpass Kobe Bryant for sixth on the list in Game 7. Bryant has made a total of 292 three-pointers, just three ahead of the 28-year-old Warriors’ sharpshooter.

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