By Tim Stannard
Egypt not in de-nile over recovery race for Salah
It’s either a maudlin, sobbing-into-pillows Monday or a truly magnificent moment for a gaggle of top class soccer players as the day spells either the end or the beginning of a World Cup dream as coaches make their final cuts for Russia 2018. Although a number have already made their tough choices in previous weeks, 17 teams for Russia 2018 are being announced.
One of those squads is Egypt and having observed the global vitriol campaign against the concept of Sergio Ramos after the Real Madrid man injured Mohamed Salah during the Champions League final, the country’s team coach, Hector Cuper, has opted to avoid being next on the internet hate-list by selecting the still-injured Liverpool striker for his 23-man World Cup squad.
Good feelings... pic.twitter.com/Jhyd2kYVKI— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) June 3, 2018
Indeed, Salah is not yet with his teammates, as he undergoes rehabilitation for his injured shoulder and the player won’t be joining up with the Pharaohs camp until next weekend. Egypt’s opening clash is against Uruguay on the 15th June, potentially the worst opponents it is possible to have in terms of rough treatment if you have a key player with an iffy shoulder.
Internet brands Germany in-Sane after winger’s exclusion
Germany’s ‘Mannschaft’ selection contained a heck of a surprise with the rejection of one of the most exciting players in the Premier League this season, Leroy Sane, who scored 14 goals in all competitions for Manchester City.
Although the rest of the world is aghast, the winger has not quite had the same impact for Germany and struggled to fit into Joachim Low’s system. “Leroy has a huge talent,” explained Low, he will be back again from September. He had not arrived in international matches yet.”
Manuel Neuer has been named captain and will wear the number one shirt, a pretty big indication of who will start in goal for the reigning World Champions.
A big thank you for their efforts and commitment from Joachim #Löw to the four players who won't be going to Russia, @Bernd_Leno, @jonatah, @LeroySane19 and Nils #Petersen 👏#DieMannschaft #ZSMMN pic.twitter.com/ANUjXgOV6Y— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 4, 2018
Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT for a look at the big shocks of the day as the we take another step down the road to Russia.
Juventus with Can-do attitude
It’s TRANSFER TRACKER TIME!
Juventus seem to be hogging the transfer headlines on Monday. A deal is reportedly done with free agent Emre Can, who is set disrobe for a thorough probing by the Old Lady before making a Juve move. Stephan Lichtsteiner has a few days left on his Juve contract and has spoken about the full-back’s supposed move to Arsenal – by saying nothing. “Nothing is finished yet, no,” announced the Swiss stopper. The fullback to replace Lichtsteiner is thought to be Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian.
Elsewhere, Samuel Umtiti officially exited the rumor mill by signing a new deal with Barcelona until 2023 with a buy-out clause of around half a billion dollars.
Speaking of megastars, Monday night is treat night with the annual Locker Room awards which selects the best of the best from the season just gone. Join Kay Murray and the gang at 7:30PM ET / 4:30PM PT.
Serena v Sharapova at French Open
It’s the second week of the French Open at Roland Garros and this means business time.
Especially for Serena Williams who is involved in one of the great rivalry battles in sport with a Round of 16 clash against Maria Sharapova.
It will be the first time the pair – who are not exactly BFF – have met in two years due to a) pregnancy and b) a doping suspension respectively. If Serena prevails then she will be the third American in the quarterfinals with Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys all having qualified. Number one seed, Simona Halep will also be there having won through on Monday morning.
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