Preview: Egypt kick off preparations for World Cup qualifier with Guinea friendly

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 29 Aug 2016

Egypt's Mohamed Salah and Nigeriaian Victor Moses in action. (Reuters)

Egypt's national football team will start its preparations for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers when they face Guinea in a friendly match on Tuesday.

The Pharaohs launch the preparation programme by hosting the Guinean team at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium before facing South Africa in another friendly in Soweto on 6 September.

In late June, World Cup-hungry Egypt were drawn in a tight group for the qualifiers' final round alongside Ghana, Congo and Uganda.

Egypt kicks off its World Cup qualifying campaign against Congo on 3 October.

Coach Hector Cuper will be enjoying a full strength squad as he included eight foreign-based players led by key duo Mohamed Salah and Ramadan Sobhi.

Wigan's defender Sam Morsi was also called up for the two friendly tests and is set to make his international debut at the age of 24 after completing the formalities of joining the team.

After the team’s January defeat by Jordan in a friendly match, Egypt manager Hector Cuper recently stressed that he is focusing on winning coming friendlies to ease pressure on the team.

"After losing a previous friendly to Jordan I was subjected to intense criticism despite it being just a friendly," the ex-Valencia boss said.

"After that, I understood that I should be focusing on winning friendly games, even though playing these games is only intended to prepare the team," he added.

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

Egypt’s 28-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Essam El-Hadary (Wadi Degla), Ali Lotfi (ENPPI), Ahmed El-Sehnawy (Zamalek)

Defenders: Ahlmed Fathi, Rami Rabia (Ahly), Ahmed Dwidar, Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Hamada Toulba (Masry), Ayman Ashraf (Smouha), Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City, England), Mohamed Abdel-Shafi (Ahly Jeddah, KSA), Omar Gaber (Basel, Switzerland)

Midfielders: Walid Soliman, Abdalla El-Saied (Ahly), Ibrahim Salah, Tarek Hamed, Ayman Hefny, Mostafa Fathi (Zamalek), Mahmoud Hassan Trezeguet (Anderlecht, Belgium), Mohamed El-Neny (Arsenal, England), Mohamed Salah (Roma, Italy), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City, England), Sam Morsi (Wigan, England)

Strikers: Marawan Mohsen, Amr Gamal (Ahly), Ahmed Hassan "Kouka" (Braga, Portugal), Hossam Paolo (Smouha), Bassem Morsi (Zamalek)

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