Preview: Egypt face North African rivals Tunisia in last game before AFCON

Ahram Online , Saturday 7 Jan 2017,
Tunisia v Egypt
Tunisia's Yassine Chikhaoui (L) fights for the ball with Egypt's Ahmed Elmohamady during their 2015 African Nations qualification soccer match at Monastir's Olympic Stadium, November 19, 2014 (Reuters)

Egypt are expected to test the strategy they intent to use at next week's Africa Cup of Nations when they host North African rivals Tunisia at Cairo's International Stadium in a friendly game on Sunday.

All eyes will be on Argentinean coach Hector Cuper with big questions about who should lead Egypt's frontline in the absence of a reliable out-and-out striker in the team's roster.

Zamalek's Bassem Morsi, who used to be Egypt's regular lone striker, was surprisingly left out of the team's squad for the Nations Cup amid reports that he fell out with Cuper after being substituted in a World Cup qualifier at home to Ghana in November.

Cuper called up just two natural frontmen in Ahly's Marwan Mohsen and Sporting Braga's Ahmed Kouka but neither has been convincing enough to spearhead Egypt's attack.

Another option for the former Inter Milan boss would be deploying in-form winger Mahmoud Kahraba, who is on loan at Jeddah-based side Ittihad from Egypt's Zamalek, as his solitary striker.

"Cuper wanted to face a strong team before the Nations Cup … and Tunisia was an ideal choice," said Egypt's team director Ihab Leheita.

"Tunisia are also preparing for the Nations Cup so it will be a strong game."

Egypt, who will not play any other friendly games, last met Tunisia in 2014 when the latter claimed a 2-1 home victory in an African Cup of Nations qualifier.

The Pharaohs will play in Group D along with Ghana, Uganda and Mali while Tunisia will face Algeria, Zimbabwe and Senegal in Group B.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)


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