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Preview: Tanzania vs Egypt – 2017 AFCON qualifying
Almost a year after Egypt defeated Tanzania 3-0 in Alexandria thanks to goals from Rami Rabia, Bassem Morsi and Mohamed Salah, Tanzania are itching to avenge the result on home soil, with qualification to the 2017 AFCON finals in Gabon at stake.
Tanzania will need to win by a margin of greater than two goals if they wish to keep their qualification hopes alive. Even then, qualification is still not a straightforward proposition.
The Taifa Stars drew 1-1 with Kenya in a friendly encounter on the 29th of May, as they prepared for the crucial match against Hector Cuper’s men on Saturday.
The Pharaohs will also be playing for a win, albeit for entirely different reasons; a victory is crucial for the team’s hopes of remaining in Pot 1 ahead of the 2018 World Cup qualifying group stage draw at the end of the month.
Egypt probable XI: El-Hadary, Emam, Gabr, Rabia, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Abdallah El-Said, Salah, Trezeguet, Mohsen.
Tanzania probable XI: Munish, Kapombe, Mwinyi, Haroub, Yondani, Mao, Ulimwengu, Yahya, Samatta, Ngasa, Musa
Key battle: Mbwana Samatta vs Rami Rabia – The Genk hitman scored and assisted in his club’s comeback win on aggregate to qualify for the 2016/17 Europa League, and will be raring to go against the Al Ahly central defender who might have his hands full throughout.
Player to watch: Essam El-Hadary is tipped to make his 142nd appearance for Egypt after a 19-month absence from the national team. His last match was a 2-1 loss away to Tunisia in November 2014, as a Shawky Gharib-led Egypt missed out on qualification for the 2015 African Cup of Nations. The 43-year-old will be itching to redeem himself should he indeed start, and will look to transfer his impressive club form – with Wadi Degla – over to the national team.
Trivia: Egypt have never lost to Tanzania, and have only drawn once in 11 encounters.
— The Pharaohs (@EgyptNT) June 3, 2016
Prediction: Tanzania 0-1 Egypt.
Kick-off is scheduled for 15:00 CLT at the National Stadium; make sure to follow our extensive coverage leading up to, during, and after the match!