Egypt's foreign-based players joined up with the national team in Alexandria on Tuesday as the Pharaohs gear up for an anticipated World Cup qualifier at home to Congo next week.
The likes of Mohamed Salah, Ramadan Sobhi and Ahmed Hegazi - who all play in the elite English Premier League - joined a training camp held in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, where Sunday's clash against Congo will take place at the Borg El-Arab Stadium.
Egypt, leaders of Group E with nine points from four matches, will reach the World Cup for the first time in almost three decades with one match to spare if they beat bottom side Congo and Uganda (seven points in second) fail to overcome Ghana at home.
The Pharaohs made the last of their two World Cup appearances in 1990 in Italy.
"The challenge is stressful, of course. I am taking hypertension medicine due the stress I suffer from the continuing criticism. Life is full of stress, but the challenge of reaching the World Cup is the toughest stress I have faced," Egypt coach Hector Cuper told a news conference on Monday.
Egypt will miss defensive midfielder Hossam Ashour, regular playmaker Abdallah El-Said and Saudi-based winger Mahmoud Kahraba, who have all picked up injuries ahead of the Congo tie.
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