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Gharib calls up 11 Pharaohs Abroad ahead of Senegal, Tunisia qualifiers
After having a successful pre-season campaign and claiming two friendly trophies, Shikabala was called up by Shawky Gharib ahead of the Pharaohs’ opening 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Senegal and Tunisia early next month.
The left-footed Egyptian playmaker’s international performances have not been on the same level as they’ve been for his clubs throughout this career. Shikabala’s new Sporting Lisbon team-mate Rami Rabia will also be representing his country in the upcoming qualifiers. Recognised as Gomaa’s heir, a lot is expected of the 21-year-old in Egypt’s back line.
Madeira’s duo Aly Ghazal and Saleh Gomaa are also expected to feature against both African sides. Both of them proved pivotal for the Portuguese club last season, in which they qualified to the Europa League with a fifth place finish in the Primeira Liga. Gomaa has since been awarded the number 10 shirt and Ghazal being under the radar of big clubs such as FC Porto. Finally, Rio Ave’s forward Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ is the fifth Egyptian called up from Portugal.
Moving on from Portugal to Switzerland, three Egyptians were asked to join the squad. Those include Zürich’s Mahmoud Kahraba, who has had a bumpy start to his season since joining on loan from ENPPI, Basel’s regular starter in midfield Mohamed El-Nenny and his new team-mate Ahmed Hamoudi, who is tipped to be the Swiss side’s “New Salah”.
Scorer of Hull City’s first-ever European goal and the English Premier League’s player with the most crosses from open play last season, Ahmed Elmohamady, was also called up along with Chelsea’s Mohamed Salah. Elmohamady – like Shikabala – is not exactly a fan favourite among the national side’s supporters. His performances haven’t been quite on the level expected of Hull City’s Player of the Year during the 2012/2013 campaign.
After recovering from two serious injuries, Fiorentina’s centre-back, Ahmed Hegazy, will be included in the squad and is expected to feature alongside Rabia in both matches.
The national side will gather on the 25th of Auguat in Aswan for their training camp, however, all 11 Pharaohs playing abroad will join them on the 30th of August.
Egypt are to face Senegal on the 5th of September followed by Tunisia on the 10th.