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Sunday, October 1, 2023

2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying Preview: Group D



FIFA Ranking: 32

AFCON Appearances: 25

Best Finish: Champions (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010)

Manager: Ehab Galal

Key Player

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool- England)

After a grueling club season with Liverpool where the team was competing on four fronts in their quest for a historic four trophies this season, it will be interesting to see how Egypt’s superstar performs for his country after suffering two disappointments as Liverpool came up just short of winning the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League. The 2021 AFCON highlighted how essential Salah is to Egypt’s success and how much the Pharaohs depend on him to create and finish goals. His performance undoubtedly suffered in the second half of the European club season and it will be important for new Egypt manager Ehab Galal to find a way to relieve his team’s dependence on Salah.

Other players to watch

Mahmoud Hassan “Trezeguet” (Aston Villa- England) Trezeguet did well to make an impact at the 2021 AFCON despite coming back from a lengthy injury layoff and after a productive loan spell at Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir, it appears the 27-year-old is at full strength to force opponents to concentrate on him rather than exclusively on Salah. The tricky winger should make Egypt a more formidable attacking side this summer than the defensive-oriented team they were in Cameroon.

Mohamed Abdelmonem (Al Ahly- Egypt) Injuries and circumstances created a golden opportunity for the 23-year-old to step into the spotlight and the center back took full advantage on his way to being named in the Best XI for the 2021 AFCON. His ability to deal with physical attackers as well as quicker forwards makes Abdelmonem a perfect partner for Egypt’s more physically imposing center backs like Ahmed Hegazy and Mahmoud Hamdy.

Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal- England) The veteran center midfielder enjoyed an excellent season for Arsenal in the English Premier League and appears to be back at peak form after many ups and downs at the London club. Regardless of his club form, Elneny always brings his best for Egypt and figures to yet again play a crucial part now that injury issues are behind him.


Egypt are always a reliable pick to get the job done and achieve qualification and the Pharaohs look to be in good shape heading into a group they should expect to finish at the top of. With the return of Trezeguet and a few attacking options who could step into an increased role like Ahmed Sayed “Zizo”, Omar Marmoush or Ibrahim Adel, what Egypt needs to focus on is taking