Egypt's coach Hector Cuper recalled 25 players for his side's crucial game against Congo next weekend, as the Pharaohs are eyeing their first FIFA World Cup appearance in 28 years.
Egypt entertains Congo at the Alexandria based Burg El Arab stadium on Sunday 8 October as the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifications Group E enters its penultimate round. With other pool sides Uganda and Ghana meeting 24 hours earlier in Kampala, it could be a decisive day for The Pharaohs, whose last FIFA World Cup appearance dates back to 1990 in Italia.
A win or draw for Ghana's Black Stars in Kampala, with maximum points for Egypt in Alexandria means that Cuper's side will guarantee their place to next summer's finals in Russia with a game to spare. Egypt currently tops Group E with 9 points, two more than second place Uganda. Ghana follows in order with five points, with Congo trailing the pack with a single point.
Argentine tactician Cuper was forced to make three late changes after injuries to Al Ahly duet Abdullah El Said and Hossam Ashour and Saudi based Mahmoud Abdel Menem "Kahraba" forced them out. The former Inter Milan manager recalled Ahly winger Moamen Zakaria whose last appearance with the Pharaohs was against Ghana last November. He also handed the chance to Ismaily's midfielder Mohamed Fathy and Smouha striker Hossam Hassan.
The Pharaohs started a training camp in Alexandria on Monday (2 October 2017) with Al Ahly players expected to join 24 hours later after their arrival from Tunisia, where they played the CAF Champions League semifinal first leg on Sunday.
Goalkeepers: Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun / Saudi Arabia), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly), Ahmed El Shenawy (Zamalek)
Defenders: Ahmed Fathy (Al Ahly), Ahmed El Mohamady (Aston Villa / England), Omar Gaber (Basel / Switzerland), Mohamed Abdel Shafy (Ahly Jeddah / Saudi Arabia), Karim Hafez (Lens / France), Ahmed Hegazy (West Bromwich Albion / England), Saad Samir (Al Ahly), Ramy Rabiaa (Al Ahly), Aly Gabr (Zamalek)
Midfielders: Mohamed El Nenny (Arsenal / England), Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic (England), Mohamed Fathy (Ismaily), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Moamen Zakaria (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Hassan "Trezeguet" (Kasimpaşa / Turkey), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City / England), Saleh Gomaa (Al Ahly)
Forwards: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool / England), Mostafa Fathy (Al Taawoun / Saudi Arabia), Hossam Hassan (Smouha), Amr Gamal (Bidvest Wits / South Africa), Ahmed Hassan "Koka" (Sporting Braga / Portugal)