Egypt's assistant coach hints at line-up changes against Uganda

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 Jan 2017,
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Egypt
Mali's defender Salif Coulibaly (back) challenges Egypt's forward Ahmed Hassan during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match between Mali and Egypt in Port-Gentil on January 17, 2017 (Photo: AFP)

Egypt's assistant coach Osama Nabih has hinted that manager Hector Cuper could make changes to his team for Saturday's Nations Cup clash against Uganda following a disappointing goalless draw with Mali in their Group D opener on Tuesday.

"We may make changes to the team's starting XI against Uganda," Nabih told reporters on Wednesday, without elaborating further.

"Reaching the second round will not be easy for all teams."

The former Zamalek striker defended Egypt after a below-par display against Mali, whom he described as a "very organised team".

"Mali are tough opponents. I'm sure that Ghana and Uganda will face many difficulties against Mali," he added.

Nabih also denied all reports suggesting that veteran keeper Essam El-Hadary had expressed his displeasure over Cuper's decision to put him on the bench against Mali.

The 44-year-old replaced injured keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi in the first half to become the oldest player in Nations Cup history.

"All reports concerning this matter are only rumors. I don't know anything about that," Nabih said.

Nabih also leapt to the defence of Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny after he was criticised for an unconvincing performance against Mali, saying that he is one of "our best players". 

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Group A W D L P
Cameroon
2 1 0 7
Burkina Faso
1 1 1 4
Cape Verde
1 1 1 4
Ethiopia
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Senegal
1 2 0 5
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Malawi
1 1 1 4
Zimbabwe
1 0 2 3
Group C W D L P
Morocco
2 1 0 7
Gabon
1 2 0 5
Comoros
1 0 2 3
Ghana
0 1 2 1
Group D W D L P
Nigeria
3 0 0 9
Egypt
2 0 1 6
Sudan
0 1 2 1
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1
Group E W D L P
Cote d Ivoire
2 1 0 7
Equatorial Guinea
2 0 1 6
Sierra Leone
0 2 1 2
Algeria
0 1 2 1
Group F W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Gambia
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
1 0 2 3
Mauritania
0 0 3 0