Former Bafana Bafana keeper Andre Arendse anticipates a tough encounter for Egypt against Uruguay

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The former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper believes the likes of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez will pose a threat for the Pharaohs against Uruguay

Former South Africa national team goalkeeper Andre Arendse expects a tough game on Friday as Egypt open their 2018 FIFA World Cup account against Uruguay.

The Group A match will be staged on Friday at Ekaterinburg Arena at 14:00 and the Pharaohs are sweating over the availability of star attacker Mohamed Salah.

Salah sustained a shoulder injury in action for Liverpool in their Uefa Champions League final match against Real Madrid about a month ago after a tussle with Sergio Ramos.

However, reports suggest that the North Africans are managing to get the Reds attacker ready for the clash and that will come as a huge morale booster for them.

Under the guidance of coach Hector Cuper, Egypt are making their first appearance at the World Cup since 1990 and will want to get their campaign underway with a win.

However, the Bafana Bafana legend exclusively told Goal that it will not be an easy clash for the Africans because the South Americans have a solid attack and talented players.

“Yes it will be a tough game for them and they are coming up against a strong Uruguayan team,” Arendse told Goal.

“It’s one of the teams that are favourites to reach the knockout stages because they have quality in players such as (Luis) Suarez, Edinson Cavani and those are solid attacking players,” said the goalkeeper coach.

“My main concern is Mo Salah, I believe with reports that he is ready for the match and will play...if that is that is the case, I am sure he will be a huge inspiration for the team because they struggle when he is not there,” he continued.

“Yeah look, it’s not a case of relying on him, but being a big part of the team, it’s a fact that he’s one of those players for the team and brings a different a dimension, he helps the defence to launch those long balls and he can run behind the defence,” explained the former Bidvest Wits goalkeeper coach.

“He helps them a lot in terms of their game and formation, his  pace is instrumental for them and if he is not there, they will have to play differently using their midfield with players such as (Mahmoud Hassan) Trezeguet,” added the legend.

“Trezeguet will have to be instrumental if Salah is not available, but then it doesn’t mean they rely too much on him hence they will have to change their playing style and so on,” responded the 1996 African champion.

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“They will have to switch their play if he is not available and yes, I agree they rely on him because he has pace, tricky, clever and can score goals for them,” said the keeper who played at the 2002 Fifa World Cup for Bafana.

“Without a doubt, his presence is inspirational for the team for players such as Ramadan Sobhi and others, I am convinced even if he doesn’t play, he will stay close to the team and in the change room...but it’s going to be very difficult for them without him and I expect a tough game on Friday,” concluded Arendse.