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AFCON

MO SALAH OUT OF SUPER EAGLES FRIENDLY WITH EGYPT

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Back-to-back Africa Footballer of the Year, Mohamed Salah has been confirmed to miss the international friendly match against the Super Eagles of Nigeria next month.

The match with Egypt will hold three days after the dead-rubber last group D Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifying match against Seychelles at the Stephen Keshi Stadium .

But according to Daily Mirror of UK, his club, Liverpool FC and Egypt Football Association (EFA) have reached an agreement to excuse the 2018 African Footballer of the Year recipient from the inconsequential matches and enabled him concentrate on the The Reds’ quest to wrestle the English Premiership trophy from Manchester City in the ongoing season.

Aside the tSuper Eagles match, the Liverpool forward will not be part of the match their last group match against Niger on March 21.

The Egyptian FA boss Ahmed Shobier according to Mirror will not be involved in the two matches.  “Mohamed Salah will not play the Niger game in the AFCON qualifiers or the Nigeria friendly.”

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The consequent of no show in Asaba will come as a major boost to the 26 year old forward because he needs enough rest before Liverpool’s trip to Fulham on March 17 and a potentially season-defining clash against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on March 31.

The Reds dropped to second in the Premier League table on Wednesday after Manchester City’s win over Everton, but they have a game in hand.

After his 32-goal Premier League campaign last term Salah has again been crucial to Liverpool’s title challenge in 2018-19.

He has scored 16 goals and provided seven assists in 25 league appearances in the on going season and his combination with the duo of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is regarded as one of the most potent in football world today.

After taken as much as eight point lead, the have wobbled in the recent matches and had surrendered their lead on goals deference to defending champions Manchester City although with a game in hand. The team is also looking to win its first league title since 1990.

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They have drawn back-to-back games against Leicester City and West Ham United and need to get back to winning ways against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Given how key Salah is to Liverpool’s success, as well as the packed schedule the Reds have up to the end of the season, it will be a big boost for the Merseyside outfit that their key man will have some time off in March.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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