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We are ready for Nigeria, Egypt’s coach boasts

By Editor
04 February 2016   |   12:12 am
After a series of friendly games against top notch Arab teams, Head Coach of the Egyptian national team, Hector Cuper, says the Pharaohs are now ready to tackle Nigeria in two African Nations Cup qualifiers next month.
Super Eagles’ John Obi Mikel (left) holds off Egypt’s Hassan Ghaly when they met at the Angola 2010 African Nations Cup.            PHOTO: AFP.

Super Eagles’ John Obi Mikel (left) holds off Egypt’s Hassan Ghaly when they met at the Angola 2010 African Nations Cup. PHOTO: AFP.

• Pharaohs may camp in Burkina Faso or Senegal
After a series of friendly games against top notch Arab teams, Head Coach of the Egyptian national team, Hector Cuper, says the Pharaohs are now ready to tackle Nigeria in two African Nations Cup qualifiers next month.

Nigeria will host Egypt in Kaduna on March 23 and then meet the Pharaohs in Cairo on March 26.There is the belief among Egyptian pundits that there is no better time to play Nigeria, as the Eagles seem in disarray.

An Egyptian website has chronicled the performance of the Super Eagles under Coach Sunday Oliseh and the fall-out of the on-going CHAN and posits that the Pharaohs can beat Nigeria home and away if they did their home work well.

However, Cuper is not carried away by such predictions. Rather, he wants to ensure that his wards are ready when they meet Nigeria.

Egypt are looking for a suitable camp in West Africa for the Kaduna leg of the qualifiers, with either Burkina Faso or Senegal likely to host the North Africans’ final preparations for the game.

Speaking on his team’s preparations for the double header, Cuper told an Egyptian website that his team benefitted greatly from the recent camp in Aswan and insists he has already settled on the lineup for the anticipated clash against Nigeria.

Egypt last week Wednesday lost 0-1 to Jordan before beating Libya 2-0 Friday in the second friendly match of the camp amid preparations for the crucial 2017 Cup of Nations’ qualifiers against Nigeria in March.

“We gained a lot from the two friendly matches in Aswan as we examined both the old and new players,” Cuper was quoted as saying by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) official website late Friday.

“We called 32 players for the Aswan camp. Some proved themselves while others were below the level. We will call a fewer number of players in the coming camp ahead of the Nigeria match.“I’d like to thank the football associations of both Jordan and Libya for accepting to face us outside FIFA dates.

“I have already settled on the lineup that will appear against Nigeria,” the former Valencia and Inter Milan boss concluded.
The defeat to Jordan is Egypt’s second since Argentinean boss Cuper took over in March 2015 after the 1-0 loss they suffered to Chad in the first leg of a World Cup qualifier last November. Egypt recovered in the second leg to crush their modest opponents 4-0 and reach the qualifying group phase.

They are on top of Group G of the Nations Cup qualifiers with maximum six points from wins over Tanzania and Chad. Nigeria are second on four points.Egypt are bidding to reach the Nations Cup for the first time since winning the last of their record seven titles in 2010.