Egypt, Argentina too reliant on Salah and Messi – Expert

Mazino Dickson

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Fans of Egypt and Argentina have been told they should not expect any miracles at 2018 FIFA world cup, despite having two of the best strikers in the game – Mo Salah and Lionel Messi.

It is argued that without Salah and Messi, both teams are at best – average.

That is the opinion of Luis Argerich, a professor of data science at the university of Buenos Aires.

Egypt are drawn in group A against hosts Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.

On their part, Argentina have to navigate group D where Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria present a challenge.

King Salah

The Pharaohs of Egypt have been sweating on the fitness of striker Mo Salah, who cupped an injury in the UEFA champions league final in May while playing for Liverpool against Real Madrid.

Salah singularly scored the winning goal against a stubborn Congolese side to qualify Egypt for their first world cup since 1990, and the North African nation is doing everything possible to ensure the Liverpool talisman is fit enough to lead the Egyptian assault in Russia.

But Argentine professor Argerich, speaking through his Quora social media account, said without Salah, Egypt would book an early flight back to Cairo since they are a limited team.

They have Mo Salah and nothing else yet people think they are going to pass the group stage,” Argerich said.

Egypt have failed to win a single pre-world cup friendly this year with or without Salah.

It’s left to be seen how they will cope for the first few matches without the Liverpool striker, who is fighting tooth and nail to be fit.

Saviour Messi

Argentina face a similar situation.

But for the heroics of Messi on the final day of world cup qualifiers against Ecuador in Quito, the Albiceleste may have failed to book a ticket to Russia.

Recent pre-world cup friendly results have not been amusing.

Argentina blew a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 against Nigeria’s super eagles, whom they will confront once again for the third consecutive world cup.

The blue and whites suffered a humiliating 6-1 thrashing against Spain in March, much to the embarrassment of the proud South American nation.

On both occasions, Messi did not play; highlighting the near-total dependence on his mercurial skills.

Argentina; a weak team with many unknowns, some terrible results in the recent competitions, playing in Eastern Europe which is difficult for south american teams and the draw is terrible, very difficult group with Spain and Germany on the same side of the draw if they win the group or France on the other side for a quick elimination if they finish 2nd in the group,” Argerich pointed out.

In both cases the teams have exactly one excellent player, people love players but one player does not make a team.”

The 2018 FIFA world cup kicks off on June 18 with hosts Russia slugging it out against Saudi Arabia.