Egypt have a proud track record in the African Cup of Nations although it’s a tournament which has eluded them in the past decade. In the 2021 tournament, they were beaten in the final by Senegal and it was in the cruellest of circumstances, with penalty kicks deciding their fate after a tightly-contested final against one of their biggest rivals.

Previously to that, the Egyptians overcame Morocco and Cameroon to reach the big stage and they also survived losing their group opener to Nigeria. This time around, they have been handed a more favourable fixture by virtue of meeting a Mozambique team who will hope to try and get a positive result before more favourable opponents.

Cape Verde and Ghana are the other two teams lying in wait, with Mozambique having won three and drawing one of their six qualifying matches to reach the AFCON finals. Chiquinho Conde’s side are not blessed with star talent and many of their players operate domestically for clubs in their native country.

As for the Pharaohs, we have the familiar sight of Mohamed Salah being man-marked and it’s often where we see Mohamed Elneny perform to high levels despite only being a squad player for Arsenal. The lynchpin of defence is Ahmed Hegazi and this trio are among the few that don’t play their domestic football for an Egyptian club.


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