Ethiopia s coach Wubetu Abate looks on during the Group A Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Ethiopia and Cape Verde at Stade d Olemb in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. AFP
Egypt will host Ethiopia at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo on Friday, marking the final day of the Nations Cup qualifiers.
Egypt have already secured their place in the continental competition, leading the group with 12 points alongside Guinea, who secured the group's second qualifying spot.
However, Ethiopia and Malawi were eliminated from the qualifiers, both finishing with four points.
"The game is important for us as we are preparing for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers," Wubetu Abate told the pre-match news conference on Thursday.
"I am likely to give new players the opportunity to play. It will be a good chance to test the young players against a tough opponent before the World Cup qualifiers."
In the World Cup qualifiers, Ethiopia has been drawn into Group A along with Egypt, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Djibouti.
Abate emphasized that the absence of Mohamed Salah would not impact the game.
The Liverpool forward will not be playing against Ethiopia as coach Rui Vitoria has opted to rest him for Friday's clash, as Salah is set to feature in a friendly against Tunisia on Tuesday.
"We have come to play against the Egyptian national team, not just Mohamed Salah," Abate concluded.
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