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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Egypt kicks off preparations for Ghana's World Cup qualifier

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 6 Nov 2017
Egypt
Egypt's national team players during Monday's training session amid preparations for Ghana match (Photo: EFA's official facebook page)
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Egypt's national team kicked off on Monday their preparations for the away game against Ghana set for the last round of the African qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.

The Pharaohs, who have already clinched the qualifying ticket in Group E, will be hosted by the Black stars in Cape Coast on 12 November.

"16 players were available in the national team's first training session amid preparations for Ghana match," the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) revealed in a statement on social media.

"Etoile du Sahel's striker Amr Marei was rested from today's training, but he will be available tomorrow with Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny, Braga's striker Ahmed Hassan "Kouka" and Lens' defender Karim Hafiz."

"Ahly's international players (who lost the champions league final against Wydad Casablanca on Saturday in Morocco) will join their teammates on Tuesday," the statement added.

On 23 October, Egypt's coach Hector Cuper called up 16 foreign-based players for the Ghana game, before adding nine local-based players from Ahly and Zamalek for the squad on Wednesday.

Liverpool's in-form winger Mohamed Salah is the prominent absentee in Egypt's current camp after being rested by Cuper, while Al-Raed's winger Mahmoud “Shikabala” Abdel-Razek has been called up for international duty for the first time in three years.

Shikabala could be Salah's replacement against Ghana after his recent outstanding performances in the Saudi league.

Egypt ended a 27-year World Cup drought after defeating Congo 2-1 earlier this month to book their ticket for next year's World Cup in Russia.

Seven-time African champions, Egypt have only made two World Cup appearances, both in Italy, in 1934 and 1990. 

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