In the opening match of Group A in the CAF World Cup qualifiers, Egypt is set to face Djibouti at the Cairo International Stadium on Thursday evening.
Egypt, ranked fifth in Africa, comes into the match after a 1-1 draw against Algeria in a friendly. Despite playing with 10 men, Egypt showcased a solid performance, maintaining a streak of just one loss in their last 11 matches, including nine wins.
With stars like Mohamed Salah and Omar Marmoush leading the squad, the Pharaohs are eager to make up for their failure to qualify for the last World Cup.
Djibouti, on the other hand, had their hopes for the African Cup of Nations dashed after a defeat in the preliminary round. Despite showing improvement with consecutive friendly wins, their overall record has been less impressive, securing only one victory in regulation time since June 2021.
Facing Egypt presents a significant challenge for Djibouti, especially given their limited preparation time compared to their opponents.
In terms of team news, Egypt will heavily rely on the prolific goal-scoring abilities of Mohamed Salah. Djibouti, in turn, will look to Samuel Akinbinu and Gabriel Dadzie to provide the attacking threat. Both teams are expected to field strong lineups, with key players ready to make an impact.