Shennawy fit, Meteb returns as Egypt name squad for crunch qualifiers
Egypt manager Shawky Gharib named a 26-man squad Thursday night, ahead of his team’s crucial 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Senegal and Tunisia.
The squad included Zamalek goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shennawy, allaying fears that a minor calf injury received in training could put his availability in question.
Gharib chose not to include veteran Essam El-Hadary for the same position, as Mohamed Sobhy and Ali Lotfi man the backup roles.
The squad witnesses the return of striker Emad Meteb, thanks in part to a long list of injuries that includes fellow Ahly forward Amr Gamal. Gamal suffered an ACL tear in a domestic league match. Other notable injuries include Ahly defender Saad Samir and Zamalek midfielder Ayman Hefny.
Buoying the team’s ailing front line will be surprise-package Arafa El-Sayed, the Tala’a El-Gaish product currently topping the scoring charts with 9 goals in 8 games in the Egyptian Premier League.
Also returning to the Pharaohs fold is promising midfielder Mahmoud Trezeguet, whose recent displays with Ahly made him impossible for Gharib to ignore.
Getting his maiden call-up is Bahaa Magdy, a 27-year-old left-back plying his trade for Ismaily.
The team will begin its training camp for the matches tomorrow at 4 p.m. local time at Cairo International Stadium. It’s worth noting that 20,000 fans will be allowed to attend the home game against Senegal, the same number number permitted in Egypt’s last qualifier, a 2-0 win over Botswana.
Egypt will host Senegal November 15 before flying to Monastir four days later to close out their qualifying campaign against Tunisia.
The Pharaohs lie third in Group G, one point behind Senegal and three behind Tunisia.
The top two teams in each group qualify for next year’s finals in Morocco along with the best third-placed team among all groups. Egypt is currently the top-ranked third-placed team.
Goalkeepers: Ali Lotfi (ENPPI), Mohamed Sobhy (Smouha), Ahmed El-Shennawy (Zamalek)
Defenders: Mohamed Naguib, Sabry Rahil (Al Ahly), Salah Soliman (ENPPI), Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City), Bahaa Magdy, Shawky El-Said, (Ismaily), Ahmed Fathi (Umm Salal), Ali Gabr, Hazem Emam (Zamalek)
Midfielders: Hossam Ghaly, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Walid Soliman (Al Ahly), Ahmed Hamoudi, Mohamed El-Nenny (FC Basel), Amr El-Sulaya (Ismaily), Ibrahim Abdel-Khalek (Smouha), Ibrahim Salah, Momen Zakaria (Zamalek)
Forwards: Emad Meteb (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salem (Arab Contractors), Mohamed Salah (Chelsea), Arafa El-Sayed (Tala’a El-Gaish), Khaled Kamar (Zamalek)