Egypt s forward Mohamed Salah runs with the ball during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 final football match between Senegal and Egypt at Stade d Olembe in Yaounde on February 6, 2022. AFP
Egypt coach Rui Vitoria gave Salah a break during the team’s 1-0 victory over Ethiopia in the final 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier, given the team had already secured a spot in the finals.
Egypt secured their place in the finals, scheduled to take place in Côte d'Ivoire in January 2024, by finishing on top of Group D in the qualifiers with 15 points.
Tunisia also advanced to the prestigious continental tournament by topping Group J with 13 points.
"The Tunisia game is of great importance to us," Vitoria emphasized during a press conference ahead of the Ethiopia game.
The upcoming match serves as part of the Pharaohs' preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations next year.
However, Egypt will be without the services of Pyramids FC fullback Mohamed Hamdi, who tore a ligament during the Ethiopia game.
Vitoria mentioned that the technical staff has yet to determine whether a replacement will be called up.
Zamalek left-back Ahmed Fatouh is the prime candidate, but concerns remain regarding his fitness for the game.
Both teams enter the match with high ambitions, having secured victories in the final round of qualifiers.
The Eagles of Carthage defeated Botswana 3-0.
The last encounter between these two North African teams took place in December 2021 when Egypt suffered a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia in the semi-finals of the Arab Cup in Qatar.
Egypt and Tunisia have faced each other 33 times in both official and friendly matches.
The Pharaohs have emerged victorious 11 times, while Tunisia has claimed 15 victories, with eight matches ending in draws. Tunisia has scored 38 goals, while Egypt has scored 32.
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