Egypt's national football team kicked off its preparatory camp in Alexandria Sunday ahead of the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Niger and a subsequent friendly game against Nigeria.
Egypt will be hosted by Niger in their final African Cup of Nations qualifier 22 March, before facing the Super Eagles away in a friendly match four days later.
"Coach Javier Aguirre kicked off the camp with a meeting with the players, stressing full concentration and doing one's best effort during the coming 10 days," the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) reported in a statement on its official Facebook page.
"The first training session of the camp will start later Sunday with the presence of 14 players (the local-based ones)," the statement added.
The Pharaohs, who have already booked a place in Africa's flagship tournament with one match to spare, are second with 12 points in their qualifying group, level with leaders Tunisia who enjoy a better goal difference.
Egypt was granted the tournament's hosting rights in January after Cameroon was stripped of those rights in December.
Nigeria also secured a place at the finals as they are currently topping Group E with 10 points.
Egypt's national team players during a meeting with the technical staff headed by Mexican coach Javier Aguirre. Egypt started the preparatory camp for Niger and Nigeria matches on Sunday. (Photo: EFA's official facebook page)
On 26 February, Aguirre named a 25-man squad for the Niger and Nigeria tests, including 10 new faces while dropping Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah, Aston Villa's Ahmed Elmohamady and West Bromwich Albion’s centre-back Ahmed Hegazi to allow them to rest.
With the Mexican Aguirre at the helm, Egypt crushed Niger 6-0, defeated eSwatini 4-1 at home and 2-0 away, and dispensed with Tunisia 3-2 via a stoppage-time strike from Mohamed Salah.
The 2019 AFCON is scheduled to take place 21 June to 13 July, having been moved from January/February to avoid club-versus-country clashes.
Egypt won the last of their record seven titles in 2010.
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