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WORLD CUP 2018: AFRICAN PARTICIPATION (Pt. 2)

EGYPT

The Pharaohs as they are fondly called had dreamt of this opportunity for what seemed like an eternity. Their long absence from the World Cup (since 1990) was enough motivation for them to also pick a ticket to the 2018 World Cup in Russia before the final game through its success in the last moments of the match against the Congo becoming the second African nation to qualify for the world cup.

A serial African Nations Champion, this will be the country’s third appearance at the World Cup thanks to Mohammed Salah’s injury time penalty against Congo in Alexandria. 1934 and 1990 were the two previous years

CHANCES

The good news for Egyptian hopefuls is that Mohammed Salah will be available despite the
shoulder injury that forced him out of the UEFA Champions’ League final very early in the game. The Hector Cuper led side which built the team’s reputation with a safety-first style are in grouped alongside the hosts, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay in Group A.

The Russians are the least ranked team among the 32 teams going to the world cup at 70th while Saudi Arabia and Uruguay are ranked 67 and 14 respectively.

With a very fit Sallah and determination by other team members, the Egyptian team should be able to overcome challenges posed by the host nation and Saudi Arabia to advance to the next stage of the competition.

BEST WORLD CUP: Group Stage 1990

COACH: Hector Cuper

SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly), Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun), Mohamed El Shennawy (Al Ahly)

Defenders: Mohamed Abdel-Shafi (Al Fateh), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Ahmed Fathi (Al Ahly), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles FC), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion), Saad Samir (Al Ahly)

Midfielders: Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Abdallah El Said (Al Ahly Jeddah), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mahmoud Kahraba (Al Ittihad Jeddah), Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic), Shikabala (Al Raed), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Mahmoud Hassan (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos)

Forwards: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

KEYPLAYER(S): Mohammed Sallah

FIXTURES

15 June: v Uruguay Yekaterinburg 13:00 BST
19 June: v Russia St Petersburg 19:00 BST
25 June: v Saudi Arabia Volgograd 15:00 BST

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