Egypt boss Hector Cuper (Photo: AP)
Egypt coach Hector Cuper has slammed the dates of his team's upcoming two matches against Chad in the second round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
The Pharaohs open their qualifying campaign against Chad in a first leg match on 14 November before hosting them in Cairo in the return match on 17 November.
"The date of the first leg is inappropriate. I know that our opponents (Chad) chose that date deliberately to put further pressure on my players ahead of the return match," Cuper was quoted as saying Friday by DPA.
"I will work hard to avoid for my team the negative effects of playing the two matches in just three days (including the trip to Chad for the first leg and then the return to Cairo to play the second leg) through rehabilitation sessions.
"It is unacceptable to play two matches (one inside and one outside Egypt) in less than 72 hours, but I am ready for these tricks. We will get a positive result in the first leg to ensure our place in the second phase of the qualifiers," the Argentinean coach added.
A different Chad
Chad scraped into the second round of the qualifiers on the away goal rule following a 2-2 aggregate draw with Sierra Leone earlier in October.
Under the guidance of the current technical staff headed by Cuper, Egypt thrashed Chad 5-0 in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in July.
Egypt's assistant coach, Osama Nabih, was watching Chad against Sierra Leone from the stands and believes that the team won't be an easy opponent this time.
"The Chad team is completely different from the one we met in July. The coach, goalkeeper, defenders and other players are all new," Nabih said in a television interview Friday.
"The confrontation will be difficult as we will be facing a better team," he added.
The winners of second round games will be drawn into five four-team groups, with the leaders directly reaching the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
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