Liverpool’s Salah in Egypt squad for Afcon qualifiers, Newsline

JOHANNESBURG – Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah headlines the 26-player Egypt squad to face Togo in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in Cairo on Saturday.

After a poor start that saw Egypt gathering just two points from as many games in their Afcon qualifying campaign, the record seven-time champions are hoping to bounce back this weekend before facing Togo again three days later in Lomé.

Salah returned to the squad that included five abroad-based players – Aston Villa’s Mahmoud Hassan, Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny, Olympiacos striker Ahmed Hassan and Saudi Arabia’s Ittihad defender Ahmed Hegazy.

There was a debut recall for ENPPI striker Mohamed Sherif. On loan from giants Al Ahly, Sherif had a season to remember netting 14 goals in Egyptian Premier League to finish as second top scorer, three behind Pharaohs skipper Abdullah El Said.

Egypt had a surprising 1-1 home draw with Kenya, before an even more unexpected goalless stalemate with Comoros last year. They lie third in Group G behind Comoros (four points) and Kenya (two points), while Togo trail the pack with a single point.

The Egypt squad

Goalkeepers: Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Mohamed Abo Gabal (Zamalek), Mohamed Bassam (Talaea El Geish)

Defenders: Ahmed Hegazi (Ittihad Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), Ali Gabr (Pyramids), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Alaa (Zamalek), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Mohamed Hany (Al Ahly), Mohamed Hamdy (Pyramids), Ahmed Aboul Fotouh (Smouha)

Midfielders: Abdullah El Said (Pyramids), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Amr El Soleya (Al Ahly), Ramadan Sobhy (Pyramids), Mohamed Magdy “Afsha” (Al Ahly), Hamdi Fathy (Al Ahly), Ahmed Tawfik (Pyramids), , Ahmed Sayed “Zizo” (Zamalek)

Forwards: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, England), Mahmoud Hassan “Trezeguet” (Aston Villa, England), Ahmed Hassan Kouka (Olympiacos, Greece), Hossam Hassan (Smouha), Mohamed Sherif (ENPPI).

African News Agency (ANA)