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Preview: AFCON runners-up Egypt back to action with Togo friendly

The Pharaohs will open preparations for the upcoming edition's qualifiers when they meet Togo in a friendly on Tuesday

Ahram Online , Monday 27 Mar 2017
Mohamed Salah in action with Cameroon (Reuters)
Mohamed Salah in action with Cameroon (Reuters)

The Egyptian national team will return to action for the first time since the African Cup of Nations when they host Togo on Tuesday in Alexandria in a friendly match amid preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Egypt will start their qualifying campaign playing Tunisia from 5 to 13 June.

The seven-time African Champions finished runners-up at the 2017 AFCON in an impressive return to Africa's elite for the first time since 2010. They lost 2-1 to Cameroon in the final on 5 February.

Egypt's Argentinean manager Hector Cuper has called up a 25-man squad boosted by new blood ahead of a training camp the team kicked off on Thursday.

Cuper kept some of his key players in the squad along with new faces that haven't been tested under his helm, including Denmark-born attacking midfielder Alexander Jakobsen.

Wigan's midfielder Sam Morsy is the prominent addition to the foreign-based players list alongside Jakobsen, AKA Amir Adel in Egypt, who currently plays for Danish club Viborg FF.

Zamalek's keeper Mahmoud Gennesh, ENPPI's defender Amr Tarek and Maqassa's midfielder Ahmed El-Sheikh all will be making their first appearance for the Pharaohs.

"The squad was chosen for this important camp after a good deal of thought and consideration. We picked players who are capable of applying our tactics and strategies," the 61-year-old manager said at the start of the training camp.

"This is the most important period for the team because we want to fulfill our targets [in qualifying]," he added.

Egypt has been drawn alongside Niger, Swaziland, and North African rivals Tunisia, in Group J of the 2019 qualifiers. 

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