If you pay even the slightest bit of attention to the football world, then you know that Mohamed Salah has been on an absolute tear. The Liverpool striker has been collecting records and impressive distinctions at a rate that’s almost too fast for the internet to keep up with, but suffice it to say he’s put together one of the most electric goal scoring campaigns in recent EPL history (or all of Liverpool history).
Salah still has a lot to play for in Europe. While the Premier League race is over, the Champions League is very much in play, and Liverpool looks to be bound for the final. In the meantime however, with Salah having more or less taken over world football, the question is now worth asking: might he have shifted the World Cup outlook for his country this summer?
At this stage, roughly six weeks from the beginning of World Cup action, the odds don’t tell us too much. We still don’t know all the players who will be competing, and analysts haven’t fully gotten to work picking apart the matches. As we get closer to the Cup, those interested in odds should keep an eye on the British and Irish books, where sports betting covers a range of events and will certainly encompass any and all updated World Cup odds. It’s inevitable that as we inch closer to the tournament, those odds will become clearer.
Having acknowledged that however there are odds and predictions in circulation already, and most places you look seem to give Egypt only a mediocre shot at advancing past the group stage. Egypt is widely considered to be the third best team in Group A, behind Uruguay (a top-10 contender for the whole Cup) and the host nation of Russia, but ahead of Saudi Arabia.
This makes some sense, at a glance. Uruguay is a legitimate world power in football these days, and Russia should get an edge playing at home. Indeed, some even suspect Russia could get a few advantages, given that it was gifted, by the numbers, the easiest group in recent Cup history.
Considering Uruguay as a step down from the true powerhouses however (which is fair) and taking away Russia’s home advantage, Egypt could well be right in the mix – or at least within a range in which a world class striker can make a difference. Talk has recently begun to circulate that Salah should win Ballon d’Or, and whether or not you agree the fact that the discussions are being had says it all. Salah truly has elevated himself to the top tier of international football, and while no one is going to suggest he’s as effective as Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi just yet, there aren’t too many other players that could be placed definitively ahead of him.
Whether or not his level of play can truly help launch Egypt out of Group A, we won’t know until June. But he’s certainly turned Egypt into one of the most intriguing teams in the field, both from a viewing and betting standpoint.