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Five days after their shocking 1-0 loss to Uganda in Kampala, Egypt will continue their World Cup qualifiers campaign at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab stadium on Tuesday with another game against the Cranes.
The Pharaohs, who lost their place at the top of the group, have no choice but to win in Alexandria if they want to regain poll position and to revive their hopes of reaching the next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Egypt are second in group E with six points, just one point behind Uganda who have seven points.
Despite the loss in Kampala, Pharaohs coach Hector Cuper voiced his confidence in the team, insisting that they still have a good chance of making it through the qualifiers.
“The qualifiers are not over yet, we still have nine points to fight for,” Cuper said at the post-match news conference on Thursday.
Bearing in mind their must-win situation on Tuesday, Cuper has to play with an offensive plan, dropping his trade-mark cautious approach.
News from the Pharaohs training camp reveals that the former Inter Milan coach will make many modifications to his squad for Tuesday’s match.
Winger Mahmoud “Kahraba” Abdel-Moneam, who led the Pharaohs front-line against Uganda in the first game on Thursday, will leave his post for a normal striker – Ahmed Hassan or Amr Gamal.
Stoke City’s talented winger Ramadan Sobhi, who played the second half in Kampala, could also have a starting role in Alexandria in order to intensify the Pharaohs’ offense, with the presence of Liverpool’s classy winger Mohamed Salah.
“Tuesday’s clash will see some modifications in our squad. We will play with a different strategy that needs these modifications,” Cuper told reporters on Saturday.
Cuper is yet to name the keeper to start against Uganda, since veteran keeper Essam El-Hadary sustained a knee injury in Kampala. He will undergo medical test before the game, and if he fails Zamalek keeper Ahmed El-Shenawy will take his place between the sticks.
“We are ready for the clash and we will fight to achieve our mission,” Cuper added.
Egypt are bidding for their first appearance in the World Cup since 1990