Egypt start the final group phase of the World Cup qualifiers with an away game against Congo on Sunday
The Egyptian national team flew to Congo on a private jet Friday to launch their campaign in the final phase of the 2018 World Cup qualifiersThe Pharaohs face Congo in their opening Group G clash before hosting Ghana, their main challengers, in November.
In June, World Cup-hungry Egypt were drawn alongside Ghana, Congo and Uganda.
Egypt coach Hector Cuper has named his 24-man squad for the Congo game, including nine foreign-based players.
Cuper believes an opening win would boost his side before they meet heavyweights Ghana and Uganda in the other Group G games.
“I’m optimistic regarding my team’s chances in the World Cup qualifiers,” the Argentinean boss told a news conference previewing the match.
“Optimism doesn’t mean that I’m 100 percent sure we are going to play at the World Cup, but I’m confident that the players will give their all to achieve this target.
“Congo’s clash is very important. The opening games are always important. A victory will be important to enhance our confidence,” he added.
Seven-time African champions, Egypt have made only two World Cup appearances, both in Italy in 1934 and 1990.